Saturday, December 9, 2006

Reflection, Dec. 10, 2006

Reflection, Dec. 10, 2006


As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

Soul Water

"Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable garland, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified."
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NRSV)

Years ago, I had the crazy idea of running a marathon in honor of my fortieth birthday. My neighbor, Joe, had successfully run five marathons and offered many valuable insights and suggestions that I followed carefully during the rigorous training schedule.

"Joe," I asked on our way to the starting line, "what do I have to do to finish the race? What is the one most important thing?"

"Well . . . hmm . . . there is only one thing," he said. "If you do this, you will finish the marathon. If not, you won't. Drink water. Stop at every water station and drink deep. Drink whether you feel like it or not. If you do, you'll be OK."

Joe was well in the lead when I lost sight of him. I ran with thousands of runners and stopped at every water station, drinking glasses of water whether I was thirsty or not. At mile 23, I was hurting and wanted to quit. I found myself singing the doxology. I refused to quit and determined to crawl to the finish line if necessary. And I finished the race! Receiving a medal, hugs, and congratulations was a joyful experience.

After coming home and showering, I called my friend Joe. His worried wife answered the phone. She had not seen him finish the race and had hoped he was with me. Hours later, she found Joe in a nearby hospital. He was seriously dehydrated. You see, he had not followed his own advice. He had decided during the thrill of the race to run for speed and neglected to drink water at the numerous water stations along the course. He collapsed at mile 23 and needed emergency intravenous fluids. He was unable to complete the race.

The church is our water station. If we are to thrive and serve God, we need water stations with other people of faith to encourage and cheer us on. And we will encourage and cheer them. It goes both ways. God calls us to run as a community of faith. We need regular worship as part of our race training, whether we feel like it or not. We need to slow down weekly, and drink deeply from the word of God, praying and caring for others, before returning to our busy lives.

As Christmas draws near, consider going to church for a long drink of water. Search for a church that welcomes people of all sexual orientations. Help each other run the marathon of life. Enjoy remembering the reason for the season. And praise God when the going gets difficult.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise Christ, all creatures here below; Praise Holy Spirit, Comforter; One God, Triune, whom we adore. Amen.

(Doxology prayer attributed to Thomas Ken, 1674. Thomas Ken was an Anglican priest, author, chaplain, bishop, poet, and hymn writer who lived from 1637-1711. Some of his works can be enjoyed at

Grace and peace,

Chi Rho Press

Please visit the Chi Rho Press Web site. You can order using our convenient secure shopping cart and pay on line using your credit card!

"Living as the Beloved" is available for $20.95 each, plus shipping and handling. Six or more copies are $15.75 each, plus shipping and handing. You can find this book on our Web site at

Subscribe to the Chi Rho Connection, our free twice monthly electronic newsletter, and this Chi Rho Reflection, our weekly meditation, by sending blank e-mail to

And visit our new blog at

No comments: