Ready.Set.Go!

Positioning yourself before and during the race matter
-Xholiwe

If anyone knows a thing or two about track racing, you know that it requires more of you to actually put in the work in order to get the results you desire. I ran track in middle school and I was a sprinter that enjoyed running short distances really fast. Not to brag, I was one of the fast girls in the school and was part of the school track team. If you have ever been a racer, you know that the actual race is nothing compared to the time before you start. As a racer, I remember all the nerves that flared up before the race began. Getting into position and waiting for the whistle that signals us to go was nerve wrecking, even as I write right now it brings back those feelings I would get before the race. You know those feelings right? the eagerness, the uncertainty, the excitement and the determination to win this race all rushing through your mind and only for a second you focus your gaze on your track. The questions that I had in those few seconds were; am I ready? can I win? what if I lose? who am I disappointing? and my last thoughts before the signal were that my team was counting on me and my mother is in the stands, I have to make her proud! Wait, what about me? and by then, it is too late.

Goooo! The whistle blows and there I go! Uncertain, but believing in my own abilities even though before the race I heard that the girl in the third lane after me is a very fast sprinter and is most likely to win first place. Well, that should not bother me because I am here to run my race. Before you know it I was pushing myself to win the race, all my effort was projected towards being first and just when I was close to taking first place, I stumbled and fell. How did that happen? I was so close, this was supposed to be an easy win. However, my mother never raised a quitter, so I stood up and picked up my pace again because I had to finish the race. I may have not finished the race first, but I heard applause in the stands and from my team, and at that moment I was glad that I did not give up! I ran my race!

Do you realize that our journey in life almost sounds similar to that of the a track racer. We are sometimes put in positions that require our patience to wait before we are signaled to go. Those positions can easily flare up our nerves and have us asking all kinds of questions. Unlike the ready, set, go signal that only takes a couple of seconds for a racer, we sometimes face longer waits in life, it could be weeks, months, years before we are signaled to go. However, how we respond to this wait will determine our outcome. If our response is channeled from our fears, guilt, shame, hurt, anger and all other heavy burdens, we are in for long tedious race. Do you know why track racers wear light clothing and shoes? It is to be able to run the race as light as possible. A track racer will not be advised to wear a heavy winter coat while they race because it slows them down, the same way your negative responses keep you in undesired situations. What if you decide to respond differently? Allowing hope, love,faith, peace, excitement, eagerness would be like you wearing light weight clothing and shoes that help you run your race easily. The key here is to be able to recognize that your response to every situation you face in life can either move you forward or keep you where you are and the choice is entirely up to you.

After we are signaled to go, it is not a guarantee that we will not face opposition, obstacles and set back. The word of God says that we will go through trials, but we should be of good cheer. If anyone knows trial, I know you are saying what is there to be cheerful about? I thought that too, until God made it clear to me what he meant about being of “good cheer “even though life has me down. It means realizing that whatever trial you maybe going through will pass and God is fighting your battle. When God gets involved there is no doubt that the battle will be won in your favor. I know we all wish life was roses and waterfalls, but there times when we stumble and fall and some falls are mighty. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean we stay down, you know why? because people depend on you finishing your race. What you endure and overcome will help others learn from you and grow.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7

We also need to realize the importance of focusing our goals, dreams, desires on what God has called us to do. If we spend most of our time looking at others tracks, we miss a whole lot of our own race. Rather than focusing on who is better or who is not, I would say let us believe in our own abilities and channel our effort to be better than we were before. Remember that every race is different, sometimes it may require more effort from you than others. Every racer can tell you that not every race is the same. With that said, not every life journey is the same and the sooner you realize that the better for you and those counting on you.

My last thoughts about life and racing is that it doesn’t matter whether you come first or last. If you can just finish strong and at the pace God has you on. There is no need to rush things that God already knows you need. Patience! Patience! Patience! Wait on the Lord and he will renew your strength. You have to keep the faith and always remember that all things will work together for your good! Let’s keep running!

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