A few Saturdays ago like I normally do, I struggled to get out of bed at 6:00 am. It is a practice to meet with a group of ladies at 6:30 am and go for a walk of about 10 – 12 km. More about how much I have benefited from this group in this post.
On this particular Saturday I was sluggish and upon reaching the meeting point at 6:35 am the ladies had left without me!!
I quickly made a decision to run fast so and catch up with the group. I pushed myself so hard but failed to see anybody wearing the trademark orange tee shirts. The route seemed longer and I longed for my music which provides great companionship when I walk alone.
This race remained me so much about the races we undertake in life. Below I share some lessons that came through for me that day.
1. Each of us has a different race to run
Experts advise that you view life as a journey and enjoy the ride instead of looking at it as a race. You should avoid focusing too much on the destination and miss the lessons along the way. In addition, this journey is best viewed as a marathon where only you can determine your pace in order to complete the race.
Like most marathoners will tell you, when they begin a race they focus on is setting the right pace. The focus then shifts to encouraging yourself to keep going and remain in the race. Towards the end when the finish line is in sight you work on finishing strong by picking up the pace.
Since there are usually many people in a marathon not all of them begin the race at the same time. Some lead and others follow. So it is with life we each come into the world separately and therefore begin the race of life at different times. While others are at the beginning, some are in the middle while the rest maybe nearing the finish line.
2. You Must Finish Your Race
When I read what the Apostle Paul said, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” I sense that he was at the final stages of his race and had the prize in sight which was motivating him to push on.
Problems arise when you fail to understand your race and want to run at the pace of someone at a different stage of the race. Sometimes you are just beginning the race but because when you look around everyone is moving fast you too quickly pick up the pace the result of which is burnout and failure to complete your race.
The key therefore is to determine what stage you are at in any given situation and run in order to finish.
3. We are surrounded by people cheering us to finish our race.
I love the scripture that says:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
The definition of witness is someone who has seen an event or something take place. Given that our races occur at different times, those who have gone before us and experienced the journey can offer encouragement to those still on the track. Yours is to reach out and receive this encouragement when the need to do so arises. The encouragement may come in form of friends, family, coaches, mentors etc.
4. Fix Your Eyes on Jesus Christ during the Race of Life
Another thing to note about the race of life is that we are called upon to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ the perfecter of our faith. We are told that Jesus Christ “is the same yesterday, today and forever”.
In this 21st century, you need someone who can be relied upon. I cringe to think about all the people who had their eyes fixed on a certain celebrity couple that has since filed for divorce. The truth is, as human beings we change and fall many times. What you ought to do as you persevere through the race of life is place your hope and fix your eyes on the one who does not change.
In my case, that Saturday I eventually sighted my cloud of witnesses. However, I was half way through the race and they were on their way back. This could only mean they had started their race earlier that day. It also meant that because of this head start, there was no way I was going to catch up with them. However, I received encouragement from them and went on to finish my race.
I would love to hear from you, have you ever run a marathon? If so what strategies did you use to ensure you finish the race?