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The Downhill Racer
M. R. Davenport
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He flies down the hill at a speed that would get you a ticket if you were driving you car on the highway. Instead of wheels and tires, though, he has two plastic sticks attached to his feet. Rather than a steering wheel, he has a couple of crooked poles. And in place of a windshield he has goggles. His name is Bill and he is a down hill racer.
A few years ago, he was the best around. He was Olympic Champion. Number one in the world. Fastest man on the mountain, bar none. The world knew his name. He was famous and happy.
There was something wrong though. Slowly, as time began to edge by, his wonderful life started to fall apart. He wasn't a movie star who could just go make another film. He wasn't even one of those kinds of athletes that had the long illustrious career. His field of expertise wasn't politics where he could promise his way into another term. The reason for his fame was a few minutes of outstanding glory that indeed was inexplicable wonder. And the fastest time.
But, time is the point, right? I mean, no matter what we do to conserve it, it continues to traipse merrily along as though we weren't even there. We sleep at night, or in the day or whenever, and though we are not watching, the clock tics, tics, tics quietly on like a million ants carrying away acres of dirt. This is what was happening to Bill.
He found himself alone. He and his wife divorced, his sons quickly growing, stayed mostly with her and he was suddenly forty years old with nothing left! He was losing his fame and his happiness. He thought it was time to prove something. At this age, he decided to return to the mountain.
Seeking to show the world he still had what it takes, he returned to competition. But something wasn't as it was before. He had lost some of his skill. Some of the edge. Finally, the day came when he realized he didn't have what it took to do what he was trying to do. Unfortunately, he found out too late to do anything about it.
At an incredible speed, Bill lost control of the track and went flipping and flopping end over end off into the orange netting. It was far more serious than it appeared. After extensive surgery, and a great deal of rehab, Bill returned to his life. Only Bill wasn't Bill anymore.
With time, he may regain enough memory to recall more than the fact that he was once the World Champion down hill racer. And that only because he was told it and has seen the video. Everything for the last three years is completely gone and the doctors say it may be even worse than that. Including the fact that Bill can hardly even formulate words now. He speaks as though he is only seven or eight years old.
Bill's life revolved around a clock. Not a nine to five clock like us, but a clock that calculated moments down to thousandths of seconds. Incredible as it may seem, a person can become an Olympic Champion by the space of time that it takes to blink your eye. But he wasn't a friend of the clock, because time caught up with him. And the results were devastating.
In the book of Matthew, chapter 25, verse 13 it says, "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day, nor the hour when the Son of man cometh" (KJV). Here the bible clearly states that Jesus will return. It talks about it in several other passages as well. We can look at the world around us and see the evidence that time is short, but there is not an exact moment or even an exact year given when. He will come back. Where would the need for faith be otherwise?
And even more is the fact that we are not told of the moment when our lives will end. I have had more than a few friends who were suddenly swept away like the tide rolls back. You don't have a designated appointment reserved for your death.
As you finish reading this article, think on your life. Are you ready if time catches up with you? Are you not sure? If so, consider this: God said all have sinned and fall short of His glory (the ability to be around God) (Romans 3:23) and that the wages (payment) of sin is death (Romans 6:23). That sounds a little drastic, I know. But that's why Jesus brought grace. With His sacrifice on the cross all men, women and children are given the free opportunity to be saved from what our sins will bring upon us. You can't get it by the things you do or by how good you are. You can only get this by your acceptance of Jesus and believing on Him for your salvation (John 3:16). After all, tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Matthew R. Davenport, 2005
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