*I wrote this for something other than my blog, but wanted to share it*
“Pray that I’ll run my own race.”
Daniel said this just before getting out of our truck at 4:30am to line up for his half marathon. What he meant by “running his own race” is that he wanted to run well according to his own ability & according to how he had been training. There would be lots of other runners with varying levels of ability & experience. Some would be faster than him & some would be slower, but that wasn’t what mattered & he knew it. He wanted to keep his mind focused on running well himself. Daniel couldn’t run anyone else’s race. Comparing himself to other runners wouldn’t help him or others.
I’m happy to report that Daniel did run his own race, very well. He took the challenges one at a time, put his training to good use, & ran as himself. Because of this, he not only ran well, shaving a few minutes off his personal goal, but was able to encourage other runners who were striving to run their races. They encouraged him, too. The way Daniel mastered the difficult hills he had been training for earned him the respect of a few other runners. They wanted to meet him & spend time talking after the race. Some even wanted pictures with him. He also got to meet other athletes who’s efforts he admired during the half marathon. As a runner, my husband knows he does his best when he isn’t comparing himself to others. His abilities & potential as an athlete shine when he runs his own race with perseverance & wisdom. This also means he is able to encourage fellow runners well, because he’s not trying to be like them or force them to run the same way he does.
We’ve found a lot of wisdom in God’s word & in hitting the roads & trails together. Before we participate in our actives through the week— whether it’s language school, spending time with people in our community, being with other foreigners, or meeting with teammates, we often remind each other, “Run your own race.” We don’t want to compare, compete, or become worried when our life & ministry doesn’t look the same as someone else’s. We don’t want to put impossible standards on ourselves that no human could fulfill. We want to wholeheartedly follow Jesus & make disciples in our life circumstances here in Asia.
Half Marathons are good reminders that as believers in Christ, God is conforming us all to the image of His Son. He is helping us all know Him & make Him known on earth. We’re all running together. But within that, we must all run our own races in the way God has set before us. That will look a little different for every single person. That is something not just to be accepted, but celebrated, because God is working in the lives of people all around the world in many different ways. When we decide to be authentic & run as ourselves, we are free to participate in the work He is doing without competition or comparison hindering ourselves & others. We are free to see what He is doing around us & join Him in the work.
©2018Chrissy Winslow – All Rights Reserved
Thanks for reading!