STORY: Run the Race
Updated: Apr 14
[There once was a non-profit company that was in the business of getting rid of all poverty! everywhere! and all sad people! . . . er, uh, rather, at least trying to make some people less sad.]
All kids on stage acting like they are sitting at cubicle desks typing.
[And one day the owner of the company said, “I have an idea!”]
All kids look up to far corner of the sanctuary as if listening to the owner speak.
[He said, “I think we should have a marathon to raise money!”]
[The employees thought that was a great idea]
All kids throw hands in the air or high five each other.
Kids line up on one side of stage like at a starting line.
[So, a few weeks later they lined up for the race. Some of them had prepared...]
“Yay” sound. Half of the kids nod their heads proudly, wink to the crowd, flex their muscles and pat themselves on the back. . .
[. . . and some of them didn’t]
“WAU wau” sound effect, and the other half of kids shake their heads and look around ashamed.
One of the kids is super prepared with a bright colored tank top, real running shorts, brand new running shoes, a water bottle, a running cap, and sunglasses. He is doing stretches.
[Before the race began, the owner spoke to them.]
All the kids look up to the far corner of the room again, listening
[He said, “Oh, and by the way, I will be watching HOW you each run the race. The winner will get a fat bonus and a sweet trip with me and my fam in the Bahamas, and will get the office next to mine.”]
All the kids look at each other and their eyes get big. They start pushing for a better starting point. The prepared kid gets pushed to the side and falls down.
[“Ready. . . set . . . GO!” And with that they were off.]
Kids start running in place, slowly moving forward. The prepared kid gets up and starts running. The rest are all ahead of him and after about ten seconds have all disappeared off the stage. The prepared kid runs in place in the middle of the stage. Then a kid appears, pretending to run. But he is slowly moving backwards (preferably moonwalking) as if the prepared kid is about to pass him. He’s acting like every step is painful for him.
When the hurting kid is next to the prepared kid, the prepared kid says, “What’s wrong?”
They keep running in place.
The hurting kid said, “I played too much dance, dance revolution last night, and my feet are killing me.”
The prepared kid asked, “Is there anything i can do to help?”
The hurting kid looks down at his shoes a couple times and says, “Ummmm. . . well . . . ummm . . . ” he gestures at the prepared kid’s snazzy new shoes and smiles sheepishly.
The prepared kid thinks for a moment and stops. He takes off his shoes and hesitantly gives them to the hurting kid. The hurting kid slips them on, smiles in extreme comfort and zooms past him off the stage. The prepared kid sighs and continues running.
Now another kid comes onto the stage, running backwards as if the prepared kids is going to pass her. She is holding her throat and wheezing. When she is beside the prepared kid he asks, “What’s wrong?”
She looks at him crosseyed and moans in exasperation. She says, “I had like three red bulls and a s’mores pop tart this morning, but it’s so weird; I feel horrible.”
The prepared kid asked, compassionately, “Can I help at all?”
She looks sheepishly down at his water bottle and smiles. The prepared kid hands it to her and they stop for her to drink it. She drinks the whole thing and throws the water bottle behind them. The prepared kid drops his jaw and looks at her like he’s saying, “Really? Are you serious? That was my water.”
She nods, smiles, and says, “Ok, thanks! See you at the finish line! Good luck!” And she zooms off stage with new energy.
The prepared kid sighs, looks up at the far corner of the room and musters enough energy to keep on running.
After ten seconds another kid comes into view and moves backwards towards the prepared kid. He is squinting and trying to block the sun from his eyes, but is swerving all over as if he can’t see. He accidentally does a circle around the prepared kid and then sees his bright colored shirt and is startled at how bright it is.
He says, “Woah, man! You’re way back here!” and he squints down at the prepared kids’ feet. “No wonder! You forgot to put shoes on this morning!”
The prepared kid sighs, annoyed. Then he says, “What’s wrong with your eyes, man?”
The squinting kid, still trying to block the sun from his eyes, says, “I just came from the eye doctor and he dilated my eyes.” He waited for a second and continued, “That’s actually a lie. I burnt my retinas in a tanning bed.”
The prepared kid throws his hands up in the air and looks up at the corner of the room. He takes off his sun glasses and his hat and hands them to the squinting kid. The squinting kid stops. The prepared kid advances forward to the right of the stage (as if he’s passing him) until the squinting guy puts on the glasses and starts running. He passes the prepared kid who returns to the running to the middle of the stage, running in place again.
He looks down at his socks. Then he holds his throat like he is thirsty. He looks back at where the water bottle had been thrown. He squints at the sun and tries to block the sun from his eyes. He sighs deeply and stops for a moment. He puts his hands on his knees and looks up at the far corner of the room. The owners voice is heard, but in a faraway echo, like a memory, “I will be watching HOW you each run the race.”
The prepared kid stands up, looks to the destination to the right of the stage and starts running. He runs slowly off the stage.
The lights go down and when they come back up we see the whole pack of kids running in place in the middle of the stage. The prepared guy catches up to the back of the pack (coming from the left) but the others push him aside so they can be in front of him. There is a weird shaped flag hanging to the right. But it is too high to reach without stepping on something else.
Eventually they all get so tired that they all fall behind. The prepared kid arrives underneath the flag first. He is about to reach up for it when someone catches up to him and pushes him to the side. The prepared kid looks at the other kid who is jumping, trying to reach the flag. He cocks his head to the side as he stands there and watches him.
The kid looks at him and says, “Please! . . . I’m just a worship pastor and I have a wife and like two kids at home. I’ve been training for this. Please just help me out a little here.”
The prepared kid relents and stoops down to give him a lift. The worship pastor kid steps on him and the prepared kid falls down. The worship pastor steps on top of him to get a little higher.
Then the rest of the pack arrives and it’s a huge pile up of people knocking each other down and climbing all over each other trying to get the flag. The prepared kid is smooshed on the bottom with his tongue hanging out of his mouth.
Then one of them, who is on a stack of kids three-high reaches the flag and grabs it down. They all swarm around him as he cheers for himself. The prepared kid is still sprawled on the ground.
Then the voice of the owner comes back and says, “Congratulations! You all have finished the race.” Everyone stops and looks at the far corner of the sanctuary as they listen. The owner appears at the side of the stage by the prepared kid on the ground. He is speaking into a microphone but nobody realizes he is behind them. He continues, “I have watched HOW you all have run the race. I hope you are proud of how you ran it.” All the kids look at each other and the things they took from the prepared kid. They start to feel ashamed of how they ran the race. The narrator moves towards the prepared kid on the ground, even though everyone else still looks at the far corner of the room. He continued, “And nothing went unseen. Do you think those people out there watching you wouldn’t see everything you do? Well, look at your reward, you all have received exactly what you deserve.”
The kid with the flag unfurls it and we all see that it is a gigantic pair of boxer shorts. They are all disappointed. Some laugh but eventually they all lose interest and start to wander off stage, caught in their own little worlds. No one notices the prepared kid on the ground or the owner who puts his hand on his back. The prepared kid swallows, and turns over slowly. The owner looks at him proudly and says, “I have seen everything you did and I am very proud of you. I want a man like you making decisions for my company. For he that exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Let’s go get some coffee. We have a lot of poor and sad people to save.”
They walk off stage.