“Any last words of advice?” Peeta asks. “Stay alive,” Haymitch says gruffly. That’s almost an old joke with us now. He gives us each a quick embrace, and I can tell it’s all he can stand. “Go to bed. You need your rest.” I know I should say a whole bunch of things to Haymitch, but I can’t think of anything he doesn’t already know, really, and my throat is so tight I doubt anything would come out, anyway. So, once again, I let Peeta speak for us both. “You take care, Haymitch,” he says. We cross the room, but in the doorway, Haymitch’s voice stops us, “Katniss, when you’re in the arena,” he begins. They he pauses. He’s scowling in a way that makes me sure I’ve already disappointed him. “What?” I ask defensively. “You just remember who the enemy is,” Haymitch tells me. “That’s all. Now go on. Get out of here.” ~ Catching Fire
Haymitch leaves Katniss and Peeta with two very important pieces of advice: 1. Stay alive. 2. Remember who the enemy is. As I was rereading this passage I thought, Wow, that really applies to my faith. First of all, “Stay alive,” to me can mean: Hold on to your faith, which is what gives you Life.
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, ~ John 6:66-68 (ESV)
I stay Alive by clinging to Christ–to His Words and the Word about Him, which brings eternal life because it gives faith and continues to fuel faith in me.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. ~ Romans 10:17 (ESV)
Haymitch’s second piece of advice is to remember who the enemy is. For Katniss this means that Snow is the enemy. The Capitol is the enemy, not her fellow Tributes. For me, and those who share this faith in Christ, it means that people are not the enemy. Sometimes we feel as though they are our enemies, but Christ says:
But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. ~ Luke 6:27 (ESV)
God tells us who our enemy really is:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
So, Haymitch’s advice to those of us “in the Arena” is: 1. Cling to your faith until the very end. Don’t let go. Faith gives you life eternally. 2. Love those in the arena with you. It is not they who make the Games, it is someone else. He is your enemy, not them. Don’t let him use you to perpetrate hate. Defy him by loving your fellow Tributes–even the ones who don’t love you back.