Saturday I was checking the oil in my lawnmower before cutting the lawn. I reached in a box for a rag to wipe off the dipstick. I grabbed what I thought was a rag, but to my utter surprise it was my old high school track singlet. Since I graduated from high school in 1970, I was holding in my hand a singlet over 50 years old! What it was doing in that box in the garage I have no idea. I thought the singlet was safely tucked away in a drawer in my bedroom, but I guess over the years in the process of moving many times as a pastor it found a resting place unfitting for my old friend. As I held the singlet in my hand a flood of memories came rushing into my mind. While the track singlet is meaningless to anyone but me, but for me it holds a wealth of meaning as to what it represents.
I only wore it when I raced. It symbolized I was about to do battle, that I was about to test my body and ask it to do what it naturally did not want to do yet was trained to do. When I slipped that singlet on it seemed to give me a mental edge that I could not duplicate wearing any other shirt. The singlet represented commitment, hard work and the sacrifices I had made to prepare to run fast. The singlet came to demand respect and attention when I stepped to the line. The singlet represented inspiration and motivation. The singlet represented the pride I felt to be a member of the Sanford Central High track team. Being a rather shy individual when it came to expressing myself verbally, the singlet represented that my legs could speak volumes for me. As I held that singlet in my hand Saturday, all those emotions, attitudes and feelings associated with it once again flooded my soul like a river overflowing her banks.
Yes, I know the over half-a-century singlet is but a sewn piece of cloth with two strips and a “S” on it, but to me it is a reminder that we all need in our lives that which inspires us that we are to work hard, sacrifice, set goals and be the best we can be at whatever we undertake in life. When I put on that singlet, I would never think of giving less than my best, and it behooves each of us every day to put on our invisible singlet to give the Good Lord our best. In the race of life, He deserves no less than our best. By the way, while the singlet has been washed and tucked away in a safe place, the lessons it symbolizes have been with me for over half-a-century.