23 May, Tuesday — Running the Good Race

Tuesday of the 7th Week of Easter

Acts 20:17-27
Jn 17:1-11

“But life to me is not a thing to waste words on, provided that when I finish my race I have carried out the mission the Lord Jesus gave me — and that was to bear witness to the Good News of God’s grace.”

As I write this, two days ago would have been my dad’s 80th birthday. He passed away several years ago after being ill for a while. My dad was brought up in a traditionally Chinese family — patriarchal, rooted in certain traditions, customs, and dare I say, superstitions. As a result, he was as traditional as you could get. He was strict, and had quite a temper; and growing up, we were all afraid of him.

My dad was not born a Christian – he only accepted Christ much later in life. In many ways, I draw certain similarities between my dad and Paul. Before he accepted Christ, my dad used to shun well-meaning people who attempted to share the Gospel with him, to the point of offending them. It was scary and embarrassing at the same time, but no one dared to cross him or put him in his place. It just was not done. It would take a spell of illness which he never truly recovered from to open his eyes to the Way, the Truth and the Life that is Jesus.

I remember his conversion very well. It happened progressively, but quite rapidly. When he was lying ill in the hospital, he confessed that he found no peace in rest. When he came home, nothing had changed, until one day, he picked up a spare copy of the Bible that I had left at home. God chose that moment in his life to speak to him, and in my dad’s hour of need, God was there for him when he felt completely alone and depressed.

My dad had several years more after accepting Christ as his Saviour, before he passed away. He may not have been physically fit or cured of his illness, but he was nonetheless a changed man. He seemed much happier, in a peaceful way, and like Paul, he was more than happy to share God’s Word and the story of his own conversion, which was a complete opposite of what he was before. I don’t know and I guess I will never know if he had asked God to show him His purpose for whatever remained of his life; but I firmly believe that despite the limitations on his physical ability, he used his life as an example of God’s merciful, loving and unconditional grace; a life that is possible to be redeemed no matter your age, and a life that is still useful for God’s purpose, in God’s hands.

I’d like to think that when he passed, he was at peace with himself, and with God. He was a living testimony of the Good News and when he was called home, I’d like to think that he willingly went to God, knowing that he had run the race God had called him to do.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Annette Soo)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, bless my father’s soul, and all our dearly departed. May they rest in Your Eternal Peace. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for the lives and love of our departed beloved ones. You shared them with us to add joy and love as an extension of Your love for us. We pray that You will show us Your purpose for our lives, as You have done for theirs.    


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