The exchange zone is everything

Posted By | February 11, 2020 7:57 am

By Steve Qualls – Christpoint Church

I am an Olympic Games fanatic! I tune in and cheer on the best athletes from our great nation, whether it’s summer or winter, swimming or skating, volleyball or curling. And this July, when the Games of the XXXII Olympiad kick off, I’ll be reminded of both past victories and past defeats that I have witnessed as a lifelong fan.

In Athens, in 2004, and in Beijing, in 2008, the USA Women’s Olympic Relay Team were the odds-on favorite for Gold. They had the fastest four individual runners two Olympic Games in a row. But even though these ladies were poised to win, in both 2004 and 2008, the entire team would be disqualified before victory could be achieved.

In a relay race, there is a 20-meter section of track in which the incoming runner must pass the baton to the outgoing runner. It is known as the “exchange zone,” and it is here that races are either won or lost. The exchange zone is everything. During the relay, in Athens, the American team made the baton exchange a moment too late. Their precision was compromised by the fatigue from the past day‘s events. They failed in the exchange zone and were disqualified. In Beijing, four years later, they had another chance but accidentally dropped the baton in the exchange zone, and the team was disqualified for a second straight Olympics. Eight years of hard work and the fastest runners in the world couldn’t produce a medal. And it was all lost in the exchange. The precision of matched momentum coupled with the strict window of opportunity has to be perfect or else victory is lost.

The same can be said of our discipleship. If we, as Christians, fail to pass the baton to the next generation, we may find ourselves much like the Israelites of Judges chapter 2: a generation who “neither knew the LORD nor what He had done for Israel.” Moses led powerfully and passed the baton to Joshua, but something was lost in the exchange zone to the next generation. It is so important that as we run our divine race we are careful not to lose momentum or loosen our grip when it’s time for the exchange. It is in the passing of the baton that victory is achieved. The next generation is depending on us.

Join us this Sunday at Christpoint Church, on the square, in Sparta. Let’s talk about the importance of the exchange zone and the right way to pass the momentum and hunger for the Lord. We will see you at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.

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