I love treasure hunts. I love solving puzzles. I love trying new things (for the most part).
I guess that is why I enjoy the show “The Amazing Race” (though I don’t watch it regularly).
For those of you who have never heard of the show prior to this, here is the premise:
-Teams begin at a starting city with the goal of reaching the final destination (wherever that is) before any of the other teams. In between the starting city and the final destination, each team must solve and complete a series of challenges (physical and/or mental) prior to receiving their next clue at their check-in location. Each week the last team to check-in is eliminated. The first team to reach the final destination is declared the winner.
In some ways, life is a lot like the amazing race though our fellow competitors are not other people but versions of ourselves. All of us have a starting point and all of us have a finishing destination yet in between, anything (and everything) can happen. The people that arrive at their final destination have faced the same challenges as their competitors yet what sets them a part is their grittiness. They refuse to give up.
In the Amazing Race: Life Edition, we are challenged to:
Sharpen our focus.
Deepen our trust.
Strengthen our faith.
Grow in wisdom.
So(w) in love.
Along the way, we will have to battle with 7 other “teams.” In the Amazing Race: Life Edition, these “teams” consist of the temptations that we need to eliminate along the way.
Pride: The hardest team to eliminate. “I am better and more superior than you” attitude towards others (including God). Life’s all about me. My wants. My ways. My timing. Me, me, me.
Envy: The team of distraction. A desire for what others have (skills, talent, possessions, status, circumstance, relationships, etc.).
Rage: The team of destruction. Uncontrolled feelings of deep anger and hatred that can lead to self-destruction, violence, and revenge. “An eye for an eye…”
Gluttony: The team of selfishness. Overindulgence and/or over consumption of anything beyond need.
Lust: Feeling of intense desire for something and/or someone requiring the circumstance to be met in order for the emotion to be fulfilled. (Lust for power, fame, wealth, sexual pleasure, food-beyond need, expensive objects, etc.)
Sloth: Physical and Spiritual Laziness including a failure to use your gifts and talents. It occurs when we fail to do the things we can and should do.
Greed: Desire and obsession with acquiring more than one needs (materialistically).
To learn more, visit Deadly Sins
These seven “teams” are the parts of us that can prevent us from reaching our destination. They tempt us to focus on them rather than the path ahead. Imagine beginning the race with seven heavy backpacks. As you face and complete each challenge and task (life situations, various circumstances), you are able to get rid of a backpack (or perhaps many) at each check-in point. As you get rid of each backpack, the journey becomes lighter and you are able to see things, enjoy things in a way you weren’t able to do before. The challenge is not to give up in the process.
The Amazing Race: Life Edition is not easy, it’s rewarding. Your perspective through it all is the difference between obstacle and opportunity, frustration or fascination, giving up or getting up. Every season of life invites us to be better, wiser, stronger, and more loving. It is said that “everything happens for a reason.” Every season has a reason. The real competition is not against each other but rather in being better than who we used to be.
And on that day when we cross that finish line, my hope is that you and I will be welcomed with open arms to the sound of “well done my good and faithful servants.”-Matthew 25:23
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