Today I ran in a local 5k, the first race I've run in a really long time. I'd love to say my "time" was unbelievably fast, but to be honest it wasn't. Still, I crossed the finish line...and that's where today's blog comes from.
There was a time when I ran much faster. I still wasn't as fast as some others, but I wasn't ashamed to tell anyone my "time". After a layoff from running of about two years, however, I'm finding it really hard to make a "come back." To be honest, it can be discouraging at times and I feel like quitting...until today.
As I watched others run past me, I found a great joy in cheering them on. When we made the turn at the half-way point, I began to cheer for all those who were behind me...okay, so there weren't that many behind me, but that's beside the point. I started thinking, this isn't just about running the fastest...it's about doing my best as I run toward the finish line and encouraging all who come after me. Yep, there it is...the random thought.
This race is a lot like life. In life, I'm running....the question is am I running from something or am I running TO something? Proverbs 18:10 says that the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run to it and are safe. In my life, I want to run TO the Lord.
I may not finish the race as fast as someone else, and I may look a little funny as I run along, but as long as I don't stop and keep going toward that finish line - I've won! That's the key...don't stop! Don't take a side road. Don't get discouraged because others seem to be doing a better job with their "run" than you are. Look at those who have "gone before" and learn from them. Then look at those who come after you and encourage them. Run along side others and motivate them to keep going. In all of it, keep that finish line in mind....it is what we are running to. Maybe I should say, it is WHO we are running to.
As I approached the finish line, I looked to those who had already finished (and were sitting around drinking sports drinks...I told you it took me a long time.) I called to them..."Come on! Cheer me on! I'm working hard here!" Of course they all cheered and I finished...maybe with a little more spring in my step than before. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses doing the same for us (Hebrews 11) and we don't even have to tell them to cheer! They've been cheering us on every step of the way.
When I saw my final "time", I was a bit discouraged. I realized if I had run just a little harder and shortened my "walk breaks" I could have finished in the time I wanted. Guess I could have used a bit of encouragement too. It makes me want to look around and see...who seems to be faltering in their run today. Maybe they haven't stopped, but they look as if they need that word of encouragement to keep "running" toward the Lord. Can I be that voice?
So let's keep running.....I want to hear that "Well done." from my Father God when I finally cross the finish line. How about you?