Run Your Race
Last weekend, my husband and I ran a 5K together. It wasn’t my first 5K, but it was the first time we had ever run together. As the gun sounded, we started running. We ran side-by-side, until we got about a quarter of a mile in. That's when I realized I wouldn’t be able to keep his pace.
My husband is much taller than I am, and my body was overworking to try to keep up with him. I slowly dropped back, and as he turned to look at me, I gave him a thumbs up and said, “You’re good!” and off he ran!
He finished his race well before me. When I crossed the finish line, he was there cheering me on. Afterwards, I explained how I couldn’t sustain the pace he was running, which was why I dropped back. He responded that he, too, felt like he couldn’t sustain the (slower) pace I was running.
Although we were trying to support each other and run the race together, side-by-side, it wasn’t beneficial for either of us. I was moving too fast for my body, and he was moving too slow for his. Instead running the race together and supporting each other at our own pace, turned out to be much more beneficial for both of us.
Isn’t this the truth for life too? We aren’t called to “keep up” with our neighbor or friends, we’re called to support and encourage one another. Paul urged the citizens of Thessalonica to “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Because our “races” all look so differently, trying to do what others do isn’t always what God is calling us to. We’re called to run our own race, and that race is different from everyone else’s. It has different trials and hardships– different highs and lows. In running our own race, with its own ups and downs, we’re given the chance to produce endurance, at our own pace, and “endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope” (Romans 5:4).
So in running our own races, let us encourage one another. Let us be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ for each other. Let us cheer each other on. It is not a competition. In running at our own pace, we get the prize of finishing the work that God has called us to.
Wherever you are, it’s OK to slow down or speed up, based on what God has called you to. It’s OK to bow out of a race or comparison game that someone has you trapped in. We will only succeed when we run the race at the pace God has called us to. “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
I hope you have a great weekend, friends!