“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 RSV).
The Christian life is like a three-legged race: in order to get anywhere without being frustrated, one needs to walk in step with one’s partner. Ultimately that partner is Christ, who spoke of being “yoked together” (Matthew 11:28-30).
I would also like to suggest that the Christian life is like a relay race: we all need and benefit from the support and encouragement of other team members. The first member of a relay team has to pass on the baton well. The ones in the middle of the relay team have to both receive and pass the baton well; the one at the end of the relay team has to receive the baton well and finish strong for the team. Each member is an important part of the team. Each must run his or her leg of the race with purpose and determination for the team to be successful.
Just like the members of a relay team, I am grateful for Christian family, colleagues, and friends that God has used to inspire and encourage me to keep on keeping on and to run my race well.
My first job as a librarian was as a children’s librarian in a public library. I desired to have librarian colleagues that were Christian to help me grow in my faith and professionally in my skills as a librarian. I was delighted to discover the Association of Christian Librarians. Right away I was connected to the discussion list, and I was encouraged to be connected with like-minded professionals. I was excited to travel to the annual conference where I could put a face to these new professionals I had met online. That year the conference was at Palm Beach Atlantic in West Palm Beach, Florida! As a Canadian, I was preparing for the humid June weather, but that week there was no humidity until the day that we were all leaving. It truly was a refreshing week for body, soul, and spirit! I am grateful for all the support that I received then and since from all of you; truly we are family. From the start, I was connected with a fellow first-timer and we shared a mentor together. I received encouragement from my mentor and now I want to continue “passing on the baton well” to others for the long haul.
After all, the Christian life is more like a marathon than a sprint. There are struggles and hurdles along the way but we will keep in step with our partner, Christ, and encourage others to do the same. As another academic year comes to a close, I pray that we will all finish strong.
Deborah is the Library Director at EPIC Bible College and Graduate School. She has been an ACL member for 9 years.