In a relay race, runners take positions on a track or a course and each gets to run part of a race. The captain chooses one of the runners to start the race. This runner sprints toward the next colleague with a small aluminum tube called a baton. The baton is then passed from runner to runner until the last of the group crosses the finish line with it. It may be that these races originate from a type of ancient currier system where instead of a baton, a message scroll may have been passed from town to town changing runners in between so that no one messenger would have to run an impossible distance.
When the first runner in a relay is nearing the second runner with the baton, the receiving runner looks behind them and sees the first runner nearing. This is a sign for the second runner to begin their run. The baton is passed mid-run from one runner to the next, without the receiving runner looking back. How does the receiver know when to put out their hand and grasp the baton? The first runner calls out the word “REACH!” and the receiver puts back their hand accordingly and feels the metal cylinder thrust into their waiting fingers. A race can be lost by dropping the baton or failing to pass it properly.
All my life, I have waited for my turn to carry the baton of motherhood. I have watched my forerunners carefully and learned many things. I wanted to prove that I was a good runner and that I would not drop the baton. In my mind, I could here my mother coming near, preparing me to run, and calling out “REACH!”
“REACH, for every good thing in life!”
“REACH, out to others in need!”
“REACH, for your goals and dreams!”
“REACH, into the past and learn from generations before you!”
“REACH, for understanding and knowledge!”
“REACH, for strength and courage!”
“REACH, toward your Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ!”
I have heard in my heart the call to REACH mature motherhood and carry this baton that bears with it a message:
“You are a winner as long as you are running the race!”
I am thankful for a loving mother who blessed me with my body that may run,
and taught my spirit to REACH!