High speed internet is a relative term.
I’m retired. I have been for several years. So, when the stay home order was issued frankly it didn’t impact my daily life as much as it did others. Then something happened I was hurled into the same pause as the rest of the planet. My eighty four year old father was diagnosed with cancer. As a result, two weeks ago today I flew from my home near Chicago’s O’Hare airport to central Virginia. Just as others have had to shift and quickly adjust to a new and inconvenient reality. I am accustomed to the lightning fast download speeds of broadband internet. The massive adjusting to the snail pace of DSL is only a small picture of how all of society has been forced to slow down.
Life in small town, Virginia is entirely different than the northwest suburbs of Chicago. My dad and step mother moved here in 2001. Dad is one of those guys who has been strong his whole life. Rarely has he ever been sick or had serious health issues. He had a pace maker put in in 2011. It did not prevent him from continuing to cut down trees and compulsively oversee his 3 acre lot. My 94 year old step mother had a bout of pneumonia a couple years ago. God bless her. It slowed her down. Afterward she slowed to walk her morning mile jaunt in 25 minutes instead of less than 20. When Dad was diagnosed with an aggressive lymphoma and given days to weeks it came as quite a shock to this stalwart couple.
Like many of you I am waiting for death to pass by. Please don’t mistake my statement for a lack of love or compassion for my dad. Quite the opposite I assure you. It’s awful knowing that death is imminent yet not at the door. It’s like the exchange between Pippin and Gandolf in Return of the King,
It’s so quiet.
It’s the deep breath before the plunge.
I don’t want to be in a battle. But waiting on the edge of one I can’t escape is even worse.
In 2010 my roommate and I had an experience when we went to see the movie Secretariat. Secretariat was the famous horse who won the Triple Crown by 31 lengths. Paul Keith Davis, in his book Books of Destiny, compared Secretariat to the emergence of what he called spiritual champions. Secretariat won the first two races, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness by two and a half lengths. Some at the time described the third race, the Belmont Stakes as “the greatest race ever run.” As my friend and I sat in the nearly empty theater in the middle of the day suddenly everything went dark. There was a storm raging outside knocking out the power. Everything stopped. An usher approached us with a ticket for a free movie and invited us to stay for a while and see if the power came back on. We both felt led to just wait. Thirty minutes later the power came back on.
Okay, lame story right? Unless you consider the exact moment in the movie when the power went out. Secretariat had just won the Preakness, the second of the three races. The whole country was on the edge of their seats waiting to see if Secretariat would win the Belmont Stakes and become the Triple Crown winner. So there we sat, in the dark. There were only two other people in the theater besides us. Even that setting seems a picture of where we are these days considering social distancing and public gatherings on hold. There are times when you know that you are walking something out, some prophetic picture. We both knew it was significant but of what we had no clue. We have even mentioned it over the years pondering as to what the picture could possibly be pointing to.
After about half an hour in the dark the lights came back on. Within a couple of minutes there was an announcement that the movie would continue at the exact point where we left off. The lights dimmed as the screen illuminated with the poignant scene when Diane Lane as Penny Chenery Tweedy, owner of Secretariat steps into the stables the evening before the Belmont Stakes, whispering in his ear, “I’ve run my race. You run yours.”
Within moments we were sitting on the edge of our seats despite knowing the outcome. It was exhilarating and exciting as the announcer went wild as Secretariat pulled out all the stops and ran that race like no other horse had ever done before or since. It was almost more exciting than watching the original race in 1973.
What’s my point. It was a prophetic picture that I believe we are living in today. We are in the pause, the glorious pause before the greatest race ever run. There is a move of God coming. Right now we are in a pause, a strategic pause. When this global pause is over I believe we will see history being made as a company of God’s spiritual champions, like Secretariat, emerge from obscurity to run the race set before them.
In the meantime we wait. We wait in anticipation of what God has in store. We wait until the threat of death passes by. We wait and know that what God has reserved
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. Psalm 27:14 NLT
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4 NASB