Pop Pop Epistle #66 – About The Tour de France and The Running of the Bulls

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Dear Grandkids,

This week our church has been doing Vacation Bible School and our theme has been “The Incredible Race.” We have been talking about how there is only one race of people – the human race – and one color of people. All of us are really just varied shades of brown depending on how much melanin we have in our skin. God created us to be an incredible race of people whom He has demonstrated His love to in an incredible way – by allowing His Son Jesus to go to the cross and restore a relationship between us and God that had been devastated by sin. The idea is this – because God has shown His love to us in such an incredible way then we also ought to show love to other people – even if they are a different shade of brown – in incredible ways.

But while there is only one human race there are two spiritual races of people: those who make up the people of God and those who don’t. We get to choose which race we want to be a part of.

Interestingly, there are two races going on in Europe this week that help to illustrate this choice.

1) The Tour de France – This bike race takes place primarily in France over a period of 23 days. There are 21 legs of the race which cover about 2200 miles overall. It is a race that takes commitment, determination, and perseverance. It is a beautiful, exhausting, grueling race that bikers want to quit many times along the way but take incredible joy in crossing the finish line once it is over.

2) The Running of the Bulls – This is a race that takes place in Pamplona Spain several times during this week that is basically for idiotic people. Here is what happens: Long-horned bulls are released into the narrow streets of Pamplona and people run in front of them while while trying not to get gored by the bulls.

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The Tour de France is a good illustration of what the Christian life is like: Exhilarating, exhausting, beautiful, terrifying, challenging, daring, breathtaking. It is not for the weak nor the uncommitted nor those who like the status quo. It takes perseverance and resilience and a stout heart but results in unsurpassed joy for those who endure to the end.

On the other hand…

In The Running of the Bulls people are doing the very best that they can just to stay ahead of pain, mutilation, and death. Yes there is an exhilaration to the experience, or so I am told, but the cost of running a poor race could be fatal. One of the interesting aspects of the race is all the spectators who seem to take great delight  in watching the bulls claim victims along the way. Why people even want to run in this race is something I don’t understand. Like I said, it seems idiotic. But this is often the way of life that people choose. They hope to have a thrill or two along the way and survive without too many scars to show for it.

Two choices my grand-kiddos. Two races. Choose well and…

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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