Ok, so I have a confession. I’m addicted to the reality show, “The Amazing Race”. Not a big deal right? Well, I’m super late in my addiction and I just finished season 3 but the show is now on something like season 23, so I’ve got a long way to go before I catch up! That means a LOT of hours on Hulu when I need to be doing something a lot more productive…(sigh).
Typically I don’t do reality shows. In fact there’s pretty much just 2 that I could sit there and watch non-stop. “Tia & Tamera” (my favorite twins in the whole wide world) and “The Amazing Race”. Ok, so maybe I will watch “Biggest Loser” now and then, but not like a marathon…
I’m so hooked on the show I have convinced my roommate that we really need to make a video and apply…I think we’d do pretty good except for the fact that I have NO clue how to read a map (I can’t believe they don’t let you use a GPS on that show) and I have an AWEFUL sense of direction. I mean awful. I mean I get lost in my own hometown…I would surely get lost on a different continent! So, now that I think about it, I wouldn’t be much help with the actual travel…BUT I thoroughly enjoy the race because the competition is so intense. These people are pushed to the ends of themselves for over a month and by the time it’s over some of them look it. They are stretched mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. That being said, season 3’s race winner’s were a shock in that one of the contestants basically, DRAGGED his partner to the finish line. Even though you can easily look up this info, for the sake anonymity I will give them fake names…”James & Cindy”. Cindy was an extreme complainer. I mean extreme. By the end of the race she was quitting every other day, screaming at James, demanding that they throw in the towel. However James was SO patient, SO calm, SO “together” that he continued to keep them moving forward. He never raised his voice. I have no idea how this man kept it together when the whole time I was rolling my eyes at the screen and just disgusted at how this woman was behaving. Now clearly this is reality tv. which means there is some serious editing going on. The producers only show what they want to show in order to get the reaction from the audience that they want to get. That being said, I would hope I would never act a fool on reality tv. b/c the producers would choose that one moment to display for all the world to see.
So I’m sitting there judging this woman and marveling at how this man’s patience with her and love for her got her all the way to the finish line. He literally said to the interviewers during the race, “I want us to do this to show her that she can do this”. And they did it. They beat out 11 other teams and won a million dollars. And I finally saw it for what it was.
The same unconditional love Jesus has for us. This man was like Jesus. If I were on this show, I would be Cindy. I would be throwing a tantrum, throwing in the towel and wanting out. And Jesus would say to me “I want us to finish this race, because I want to show you that you can do this”. He’s not saying He has anything to prove for Himself but that He wants me to know that I have what it takes to win this race.
There are so many people in my life who sincerely have that unconditional love for me and I can’t help but marvel at it. My roommate told me today she loves me and will bear with me through ANYTHING. Now, she said this through text message b/c we’re not mushy like that to where we would say such things face-to-face. But it still had the same impact. I realized at that moment, this woman loves me unconditionally (sadly it took me 10 years to really figure this out). No matter what I do, or say, she will be there. And I was blown away. Because, who am I that anyone should love me unconditionally? Let alone a host of folks. I’m not perfect. I have my issues. Sometime I’m not easy to love. But God put people in my life to do that so that I could see…this is how He feels.
Unconditional love. Now there’s a thought. I think in hindsight “Cindy” would probably agree that the real reward wasn’t even that cool million she got to split with her partner, but in fact was the sheer grace “James” displayed by bearing with her, keeping her motivated, and loving her all the way to the finish line.