While I trust that no one reading this actually bet and lost money on Big Brown’s failed quest to win horse racing’s famous Triple Crown this past Saturday at Belmont, it’s interesting to note that 30 years have passed since a horse has won all three major races—the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes. The longest previous stretch without a Triple Crown winner was 25 years, which ended with Secretariat’s record run in 1973. Secretariat won all three races in record time that year, winning the Belmont by an astonishing 31 lengths. The “horse of the century” was retired later that year and was euthanized in 1989 after falling ill. An autopsy revealed that Secretariat’s heart was two and a half times the size of an average horse’s heart—-perhaps accounting for his amazing endurance.
In thinking about Secretariat’s unusual heart, I was impressed with the fact that we really need some big-hearted Christians in our world today. When on a national level Baptists are best known for what they are opposed to rather than what they stand for, it’s time to remember that Jesus summarized the entire law in two statements—-loving God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if when someone delivers our funeral eulogy at some future date that the comment could be made that we were characterized by an enlarged heart with a great capacity for loving God and others?