Not As It Seems

   In middle school, my family moved across town. Our new house happened to be right across from the high school’s (award-winning) cross country coach. To my recollection, he was one of the first neighbors to come greet us; although it was soon apparent that he had some ulterior motives. 

   For the following two years,  he would spend great stretches of conversation convincing my parents that I had the perfect physique (ie: scrawny) to be the next great cross country star. He seemed so sure of his analysis that we all accepted it as truth. I couldn’t have been more excited on the first day of high school to join the cross country team and begin training for my all-star career!

   Things aren’t always as they appear.

   It looked as if I had the physical makings of a long distance runner, from the outside at least. Weren’t we all surprised to find out that I could actually walk faster than I could run!  By the third week of practice I had gotten left behind by the team as they ran the outskirts of town so many times that the coach decided I should probably ride my bike with them in order to keep up. It was a shocking season for me as I had to re-calibrate my own perception of myself. I was not who I thought I was.

   There is a group in the Bible that reminds me of “middle-school me,” the Pharisees. Culture exalted th ...

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