Thinking about the bible verse on how we are called to run our race in life and to run it well, I had to ask myself how exactly we’re supposed to do that.
The first thing that came to my mind is that you have to remember that it’s a race, not a leisurely stroll through a park and not a practice run where you can just stop and take a break for ten minutes. It is a race and in a race your focus is on getting to the finish line out of breath and uninjured. Being out of breath simply means that you put your all into that race. If you finish a race without having to catch your breath you still had more left to give.
When you run a race with your all, you’re able to celebrate because you see what all your hard work accomplished and even be surprised at your own expectations that you break. However when you cross that finish line knowing that you walked and stopped when you could have kept going then there’s no sense of accomplishment and you won’t know just how much you were capable of.
Another thing that came to my mind was that before you run a race in order to not get injured and to actually be able to finish you have to be prepared. People practice for months for races, they slowly build up their endurance, what their lungs and muscles can handle, and they stretch their bodies out in preparation for the exertion to come. So what I learn from this is that if God is placing you in a race in some area of your life he will place you there when you are ready. So if you are in the race, you are ready.
Have you ever had those times where God is telling you to do something and you keep trying to turn down God. God wouldn’t take you on that journey if he hadn’t prepared you for it earlier. Even if it seems incredibly difficult he has prepared you in ways you won’t realize until you actually take that journey. Of course there will be ways in which you grow as you take that journey but he has pre-prepared and is preparing you.
It reminds me of my Track and Field days where in the beginning I admit I sucked. At first I kept stopping when we ran around the high school area, then my next step was I kept a jog the whole time only to realize my jog pace was the same pace as the girl who was walking and talking next to me. However, during our practices our coach would push us, me especially because for some reason he believed in me. Then there came a point where I was used to jogging but suddenly I pushed myself to go faster and I realized that I was faster than I thought I was and could do more than I had thought I could. Although practice had seemed like just pain, it had strengthened me and built me up even for the practices, so I could do more in the practice laps and then even more in the race.
So the lesson is whatever it is you are going through painful, stressful, or unwarranted, whatever it is, it is either part of your race or practice. Although it doesn’t feel good, you are being strengthened for what God has planned for you so that when you do run your race, you’ll be ready. Think of David who was constantly dealing with something in his life and it was preparing him to be a man who worships God with all his heart no matter the circumstance and out of his journey we are given Psalms. Also when it comes to running your race, I believe God is calling us to be people who put their all into what they do, to not just give a sliver of their energy, attention, or heart but to actually give their all. The thing about this is, if we take a moment to wonder if we’re giving our all, we sometimes don’t know when we are and want to push ourselves harder but for the most part we know when we aren’t.
So I encourage all of you to not exert yourself because God is with you and guiding you but to also push yourselves when you are tempted to slack in your race. To take the journey’s God has for you with confidence that he has prepared you for it, like any good coach would, and that even in your race he continues to strengthen you. So be strong and persevere.