You may have seen the story on the net of the man, competing in a race, helping the winner to win.
‘Kenyan runner Abel Mutai was only a few meters from the finish line, but got confused with the signs and stopped, thinking he had finished the race. Argentinian runner, Ivan Fernandez, was right behind him and, realizing what was going on, started shouting to the Kenyan to keep running. Mutai did not know Spanish and did not understand and, realizing what was going on, Fernandez pushed Mutai to victory.
A reporter asked Fernandez, “Why did you do this?” And he replied, “My dream is that one day we can have some sort of community life where we push ourselves and also others to win.”
The reporter insisted “But why did you let the Kenyan win?”
Fernandez replied, “I didn’t let him win, he was going to win. The race was his.”
The reporter insisted and asked again, “But you could have won!”
Fernandez looked at him and replied: “But what would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honour of this medal? What would my mother think of it?”
This kindness, this frame of mind, this world view, can only exist where a person is awake and sensitive to something beyond self-interest. They are able to listen to something deep within them that calls them to build community among people. How we long for this in a world where self-interest seems to run unchecked! Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani wrote a novel full of warmth and wit, I Do Not Come to You by Chance, about a Nigerian who is lured into what the blurb on the cover calls, ‘the fast-moving world of email scamming where he discovers a profitable talent for persuasive story-telling.’ As he becomes hugely wealthy the reader is led into a pitiless world of fraud and corruption that affects the lives of millions. (I am one of those for my email was hacked last month!) You feel the anger rising in you at the ripples of iniquity fanning out to touch the lives of so many.
‘No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father.’ We read these words of John this Sunday. Our world is divided between those who hear the good news somewhere deep within and are drawn to it and those who live on the surface and give free rein to their natural desires with no thought for the damage they do.
8 August 2021 Sunday 19B 1 Kings 19:4-8 Eph 4:30-5:2 John 6:41-51