It was typical organized, timed race in Arkansas.
One of our guys didn’t want to run. He didn’t want to train. We signed him up because we were all going as a family, and there are times in our big family that “we just have to do something that isn’t our favorite” to show love as a sacrifice. He knew the race was coming. He kept trying to think of things he could do or ways he could get out of it… But race day came nonetheless. As he ran, I watched him (from behind) slow down even to walk. Then he ran with me for a bit. He ran ahead. But he kept looking to the side and behind… trying to beat the “next guy” or me. Finally, I went past him. He huffed and puffed. I even heard him cry out, “I have to walk.” I encouraged him to make it to the finish and I set my sights on the finish myself.
As I watched all of this and my heart was hurting for him as he struggled, I thought about it… I realized that this is so much like life. We all have “race days” or “trials” as James 1 calls them and there will be “Last Day”. There will be a finish. We all know it is coming. We can choose to prepare, train, seek wisdom and the Lord for guidance and strength, or we can make excuses, avoid it, keep looking to those around us or behind us and console ourselves, and huff and puff our way through, miserable, full of frustrations.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. ” James 1:2-8
My encouragement for today, for myself, for us all, is to count it all joy to run our own race, seeking the Lord and His word, asking for wisdom, training ourselves in righteousness and practicing love, so that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.