Have you watched the show The Amazing Race? It is a reality show where teams of two race around the world in an attempt to win a million dollars. The teams are pushed to their limits and tested in ways most people never have to experience. Each week they race to be the first team to reach the mat and to not hear the words, “I’m sorry you have been eliminated.”
This year during the race one team was a newly dating couple. As such they were still getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. What they liked and didn’t like. During the first legs of the rate they worked well together and met multiple challenges with teamwork and grace. Then they came to the leg of the race where they had to slide down a large water slide. By this time Canaan knew that Mika was deathly afraid of water and heights.
For many minutes Canaan tried to encourage Mika that she could do this, but her fear overwhelmed her. She tried and couldn’t do it. She got up from the slide. Canaan tried to reason with her. He understood her fear, but he also knew that if they didn’t do this part of the race it was all over for them. She tried multiple times. She prayed. She cried. He tried his best to convince her. Then, he lost his temper.
Another team came up so Mika and Canaan had to step aside and let them go. Canaan told her he would see her at the bottom and then went on down the slide. She knew that not participating meant losing the race and potentially losing the relationship. All she could see, though, was her fear and in the end she walked away in tears.
She found Canaan sitting at the bottom of the slide. They went on to the pit stop for this leg of the race and were told by Phil that they had been eliminated from the race. Mika was devastated. As they stood there on the mat, though, Canaan showed his true colors as a Christian.
There in front of thousands and possibly millions of viewers he forgave Mika. He knew what it was like to face his fears and have the fears win. He said to Phil, “I am forgiven and so I can forgive Mika.” What powerful words. He could have been angry. She cost him the chance to win a million dollars. He wasn’t angry. He wasn’t willing to walk away from the relationship. He offered to Mika the same grace and forgiveness that he has been offered by his savior.