First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone:(203) 744-6177

From Pastor Pat: These 40 Days Are a Gift

A look inside ourselves to connect with strength
(Feb. 19, 2015) There’s a small plaque near our front door at home that displays a motivational message I see each morning as I leave the house. It says simply, “The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.”
No better example of this truth hit the TV news broadcasts earlier this week, after a brilliant young Kenyan runner at the Austin, Texas marathon, Hyvon Ngetich, had been leading the women’s race for miles. And then it happened. Her body simply gave out, about a half mile from the finish line. She crashed to the ground. For many of us, we would consider our race over. But she did not just stop there. Hyvon began to crawl. First on her stomach and then on all fours. She collapsed, again and again. The emergency personnel rushed forward with a wheelchair again and again. But she refused it. Minutes later, to the roaring cheers of the crowds at the finish, Hyvon crawled across the finish line. And somehow, she still managed to take third place.
“The race is not always to the swift….”
How many of us, on our own life’s long journeys, have reached a point where giving up seemed like the most prudent thing to do? When we understood that the remaining trek ahead would be filled with pain and doubt? However, when your eye is on the prize, the victory at the end, amazing things are possible.
This week we begin the long trek through the contemplative wilderness of Lent, ending on Easter morning. We must remind ourselves that Jesus has begun the final “race” that ends, not on Golgotha, but in that triumphant blaze of glory that is the Resurrection. Over these weeks ahead He will stumble. He will fall. Blood will stream and people will doubt him, deride him. When he is pinned to the ground, people will assume that he is a loser. But they have forgotten….
“The race is not always to the swift….”
These 40 days ahead are a gift to us, a time to look inside ourselves, not for the weaknesses, but to become acquainted with our capacity to connect with strength, even in the face of apparent failure. If we do this, by the time Easter Sunday rolls around we may still be facing obstacles on our journey, but we will know which reservoir of God’s grace to draw upon for the final trip. Years from now, no one will remember who took first place at the Austin Marathon, and perhaps no one will remember Hyvon’s name, either. But everyone will remember her race, and who crossed the finish line first in their hearts. – Pastor Pat


First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Est. 1696

Phone: (203) 744-6177

Office Hours:
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday Closed

Thrift Shop Hours:
Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sunday Worship:
Sunday   10:00 a.m.–11 a.m.


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