Written by: Dr. Neil Franks
I remember my first triathlon. Ok, it was my only triathlon. And I wasn’t competing in it, I was a volunteer. I was leading a group of single adults from Council Road Baptist Church in Bethany, Oklahoma supporting the Lake Placid Baptist Church as it provided volunteers for the “Ironman Triathlon”. The church found a ministry of providing volunteers for the many sporting events held in the small town made famous by hosting the Winter Olympics when we still “believed in miracles (There was a great article about the church and its ministry posted by Baptist Press posted 022020 by Tim Ellsworth).
We arrived the week of the event and did all sorts of things, like manning an information booth (which was a blast as people expected us to be locals pointing out the best cafes and attractions, we had no clue), to cleaning the timing chips that go on the ankles of the athletes, did I mention they don’t take potty breaks during the race, and serving at the prerace high carb dinner (finally something I was good at).
But the most memorable moment came when I was helping an athlete check-in. I was at the bike station and I made the mistake of reaching to take the bike and just as my fingers touched the seat when the guy unloaded on me verbally with a distinctively non-southern accent. Something about how dare I, and I did not know how expensive that bike was, and several other adjectives and other descriptive language I choose not to mention here.
I was taken aback by his aggressiveness, but I was more taken aback the following day. You see the bike portion takes place after the swim portion of the race and before the run. The time in the transition between events in the exchange area critical to their final result. I just happened to be in the transition zone when I saw him literally throw his bike to the ground and quickly change shoes before exiting the area. I don’t even think he saw where his bike landed.
Imagine less than 24 hours later his most prized position was tossed to the side in a rush to leave it in the dirt. I think that is the way it will be when Jesus calls us home. All of the stuff we have spent so much of time, energy and money longing for, saving for, enjoying, and protecting will all be tossed aside.
Now we do need to make sure someone will come along and benefit from it, (I am sure the athlete had a person designated to retrieve the bike), which is why we help people with their estate plans and if you don’t have one you should call us. But, the resurrection is about another and better estate plan. Jesus reminded his friends, that in His Father’s house there are many mansions (estates) and He has gone to prepare one for each of us.
As you celebrate Easter, whether in church or in a sheltering at home position, the empty tomb is the assurance of a better plan for an estate that will last forever.