If you run your race you’ll win

“Isn’t it obvious that all runners on the racetrack keep on running to win, but only one receives the victor’s prize? Yet each one of you must run the race to be victorious. A true athlete will be disciplined in every respect, practicing constant self-control in order to win a laurel wreath that quickly withers. But we run our race to win a victor’s crown that will last forever. For that reason, I don’t run just for exercise or box like one throwing aimless punches, but I train like a champion athlete. I subdue my body and get it under my control, so that after preaching the good news to others I myself won’t be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24‭-‬27 TPT

On your marks, get set, ready…GO!!!

If you’ve competed in a race before these words are familiar to you. You might laugh at what I’m about to say but, I used to run during my secondary school days. Yes, me! I was a 100m sprinter. I had never tried a marathon before but I knew a few girls who were pros. Marathons, unlike sprints, are all about pacing. The techniques used to win both are different. The metabolic demands and energy needed for the two are also different.

The 100-meter sprint is a brief, explosive event; the marathon is a prolonged, high-intensity, endurance event. Sprinters train for speed. Marathon runners train for endurance. Sprinters must get off to a good start to remain competitive in a race, which means practicing how quickly they react to the starting gun. Marathon runners on the other hand focus on endurance-related factors. Running a marathon means athletes must leave energy for the end of the race or run the risk of not finishing. They have to save energy for later parts of the race.

You’ve heard the saying, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint” right? What God has called us to do is not something we can sprint through. If we do, we will burn out after a few meters. Your life purpose is exactly that – for life. You cannot approach with a sprinter’s mindset, but rather a marathon runner’s mindset. The mindset that keeps energy reserved for steep ascents and descents, unforgiving temperatures, intense terrain, and unimaginable distances. Purpose needs marathon runners, not sprinters. You are not in competition with anyone. The dream is yours to fulfill. Pace yourself properly. Don’t be too hasty to finish the race. Take your time. Don’t chase the sprinters because their race will soon be over and you will remain a couple of kilometers ahead of us. They will burn you out.

The year has just begun. Many of us have written down goals that we want to achieve. Resolutions, vision boards, dreams, and desires are the order of this season. There are no quick fixes to achieving these things. They will demand your effort, time, dedication, and focus.

Take the bold step to start running. Refuse to stand by the starting line and freeze thereafter the instructor has said GO! Take the first step, then the next, and the next. Each footstrike carries you forward, not backward. Fred Lebow says, “It doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.” In this race, you are not in competition with anyone but yourself.

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up. And always remember this: If you run your race you’ll win!

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