Batons Worth Passing.

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. When I was a boy in my father’s house…he taught me and said: ‘Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live’.

Proverbs 4:1-4

In a track and field relay race, there are typically 4 runners. You’ve seen how it works. To signal the start of the race, a loud crack splits the air. The first runner dashes from the start line and pumps his arms, clutching a baton in hand. He high-tails it down the race track to the second runner who grasps the baton with barely a glimpse behind him before he races on ahead and slaps it into the palm of the third runner. 

The race continues until the fourth and final runner snatches that thing and hauls himself across the finish line to what the entire 4-person team hopes will be a victory.

Should the baton be dropped in passing at any point, they all lose. Even if only one runner dropped it.

I can just hear the decrescendo of a previously enthusiastic crowd as a long-winded aaawww blathers out and fans sink back into their seats.

Recently, I was texting my oldest daughter. During the course of our back and forth messages, she thanked me for something with a simple Okay thank you

I playfully responded: You have good manners.

To which she responded: My mom taught me 🙂 🙂

Never short on words, I responded again: And…her mom taught her. That’s a baton worth passing.

Here are other “batons” worth passing: 

Healthful eating habits.

Daily, disciplined Bible reading

Continual prayer.

Peace when trouble comes.

Financial responsibility.

Emotional self-control.

Kindness.

Sacrifice.

Generosity.

These (and others) are batons that should be held with a firm grip and passed onto others in my circle of influence.

Some batons aren’t worth passing. In fact, they should never be passed. Maybe even destroyed by holy fire.

Ingratitude.

Selfishness.

Techno-stress.

Quarrelling.

Laziness.

Apathy.

Compulsive social media checks for latest followers. (I did this once)

Pride.

Binge-watching Fixer Upper. (Ouch)

Whether I like it or not, batons of influence will be left behind when I finally cross life’s finish line. Of those that are worthy and good, Holy Spirit-breathed truths, will my intended receivers dutifully pass those batons to future generations? Or will they land with a thud, become scattered across the track to create nothing but a tripping hazard for other runners?

But I’m not there yet. At the finish line, that is. In fact, I’d like to think I’m still quite a distance away and have batons-a-plenty in hand.

Like this one:

Salvation is found is no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given men by which we must be saved Acts 4:12

Because that’s a vital piece of intel right there, a baton of truth that needs to be shared.

Still more…

~Hand-written thank you notes are not lame. They still bless and show respect for the recipient.

~The elderly still need good, long visits without me checking the time on my cell.

~The sins of the incarcerated are no worse than mine when measured against a  holy God.

 ~Flossing still minimizes the risk of cavities.

~Hips will betray the truth of having over-indulged in Blue Bell ice cream 🙁

~Two things last forever, God’s word and God’s people. Invest in both.

~Prayer moves mountains. Keep at it.

God has His own collection of batons. I’m one of them.

Without ever releasing His grip and lending me His strength, He sends this little baton out to make disciples of all nations…to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:19, Acts 1:8).

And so I run the race, God’s firm fingers holding me tight. Who will snatch the truths I hold and claim the victory for us all?

The wise in heart accepts commands.

Proverbs 10:8a

4 Comments

  1. Oh, I really want my children to know this: “Two things last forever, God’s word and God’s people. Invest in both.” It’s so important to pay attention to what we’re modeling to our kids as we run the race laid out before us (batons, relays…you can see how my mind went to Paul’s words).
    Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Margaret Eomurian says:

    I like the idea of running the race with a baton in our hands and imagining the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on. Great message!

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