As the torchbearer runs there is frequently a crowd of people lining the path and shouting encouragement. How would we feel if we learned those people were encouraging the torchbearer to detour, become distracted or even give up?
The torchbearer runs ahead of the games, heralding a future filled with excitement and enthusiasm and amazing feats of endurance and grand demonstrations the fruits of committed endeavor and persistent practice.
We, you and I, are charged to be torchbearers for the good news of the Gospel. It Is the responsibility of each of us to pour the Light of God into a broken and lonely world and it is important and desperately needed work.
And we are able to do that even while stopping for lunch or a pick up game of round ball or chatting with a friend. We are sometimes required to speak of our faith, but most importantly we are called to live our faith. We are called to pay attention to the person in front of us, to speak words of compassion and hope, to act to bless others.
And, like Olympic athletes, the more we practice listening and loving the better we get at it. Even when the World wants to distract us or discourage us, we can quietly persevere, listening and loving and paying attention to God's beloved children in our lives.
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NOTE: Tzvi Freeman writing on "What is a mitzvah?": Often the word mitzvah is related to the Aramaic word tzavta, meaning to attach or join. Tzavta can mean companionship or personal attachment. In this sense, a mitzvah bundles up the person who is commanded and the Commander, creating a relationship and essential bond. The three meanings can themselves be bundled together. “Good” is defined as that which the Creator of the Universe wants done with His universe, and by doing that which the Creator wants done, we are bound up with Him in body, mind and soul.