Like many of you, I was a bit mesmerized yesterday afternoon as we were watching the events of the Boston Marathon tragedy unfold. I happened to be near a news source around 3:30 so watched a bit of the “live” response when things were unfolding. So many emotions went through my head, but the one that stuck was thinking of those folks who had their own BHAG’s (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of finishing the race and the emotions that surround that, and then to encounter the evil in action at the finish line.
I thought of those who had dreamed and planned and trained for that moment to cross that finish line, only to be met with an explosion, shrapnel, confusion, and then fear. And for those folks, I cried. I cried because someone decided for whatever cause, it was worthy enough to harm and kill their fellow man. Now, instead of celebrating their success and their great accomplishment, these runners are grieving their losses. They are processing the events, reaching out to loved ones, and probably asking a lot of “why’s?” It wasn’t supposed to be that way. It was supposed to be a great big celebration of accomplishment. It was supposed to be a time to reflect on the amazement of reaching your BHAG. And now, those memories will not come for a while.
I pray that those runners will not dwell on the why’s, but rather seek their comfort in the God of the universe who chose to give humanity a way beyond the temporal of the world. He gave His own Son so that we can choose His way or not. To choose to love Him and acknowledge our brokenness and need, or not love Him and rely on our own personal desires and abilities. He did not make us robots, with all humanity choosing the good and best way. Rather, He gave us a choice, just like we often give our own children a choice and to face the consequences of that choice. And, sometimes in this life, the consequences of other peoples’ choices have an effect on all of us that we cannot control and predict. In those times, I am so thankful the Lord is holding onto me and that I can trust He isn’t surprised.