Reflecting Poolwith Reverend Greg Coles, M.Div.
There is an annual dogsled race in Alaska called the Iditarod, where teams travel more than 1,000 miles over rugged terrain and through grueling weather. As expected, they give an award to acknowledge the fastest team. But, what interests me more about this competition is that they also offer a Red Lantern Award, which is not given to the team that finishes first, but to the competitor who finishes last. The Red Lantern Award is used to recognize resilience and perseverance.
In a society that values finishing first and fast, bigger, newer or better and getting ahead of the competition, I appreciate that there are symbols such as the Red Lantern Award to recognize the ancient values of courage, perseverance and determination. These values enable us to endure hardships and to complete those things that are ours to do.
Steadfastness and resiliency are qualities that all spiritual masters share and that each of us can develop, using perceived challenges or setbacks as growing opportunities. Louisa May Alcott said,
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship.”
May each of us know that the universe is here to bless and enrich our spiritual growth. Let us appreciate the qualities of resilience, perseverance and courage that come with determination. And may you be blessed with discovering all that you are capable of being.