This Is Not a Race
Clovis Chappell, a great preacher of a previous generation, used to tell the story of two paddleboat steamers. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the River to New Orleans. As they traveled side by side, crew members made disparaging remarks about the slowness of the other boat. Words were exchanged. Challenges were made.
And the race began. The competition was keen as the boats roared down the Mississippi. One boat began falling behind. Not enough fuel. There had been plenty of coal for the trip, but not enough for a race. As the boat dropped back, an enterprising crew member took some of the ship's cargo and tossed it into the ovens. Their boat began to catch up, so they made fuel out of more and more cargo. They finally won the race, but in the process they burned their cargo, the very material they had been hired to transport.
Parents, our primary mission is not to win a rat race, but to faithfully care for those persons entrusted to us, especially our children.
Source: Attributed to Bill Bouknight, Collected Sermons, in an eSermons.com email on 06-10-08