“You really need to pick a sport,” he said to me. “You’re the most noncompetitive person I know, and you need to fix that. Pick a sport and team to be passionate about and join everyone else!”
Almost immediately, a response came to me; yet it wasn’t the usual sarcasm I am accustomed to dishing out. It was something I hadn’t thought of until that moment, and suddenly I found myself saying:
“I DO have a sport! I am running THE RACE. And I am running The Race – to WIN!”
As it dawned on me, I explained further; “for over 30 years I have trained my mind, body and soul. I have spent countless hours reading Scripture and Holy books; I have attended unknown numbers of seminars, lectures, and classes. I have gotten up before dawn on thousands of days – to research and study better how to win The Race. I’ve been up late night after night following every last thought, statement and claim – what does the original Greek mean? What was the relevance of this statement in the world of Palestine 2,000 years ago? Who are the Players that have run This Race ever since – what did they do, how have they succeeded, how have they failed? These and other thoughts, I’ve examined, played with, and followed up on. I’ve consulted other experts in the Run; I’ve pondered the things that happen to me while running, and I’ve listened for my Trainer’s Voice - the one that I hear more clearly every day.
I am Running the Race – and I am Running TO WIN.
NFL Players do not compete hard at hopscotch. They do not spend hour upon hour studying it, contemplating it, and trying to figure out how to win. They do not keep stats on the players, its history, and its future. It is simply something that is not really all that important in the long run.
I too have decided that the sports of this world are not really all that important in the long run. Yes, I can watch them. I usually root for the underdog – no matter who it is. My heart breaks when the athlete fails, and I pray for their heart. Yet I also share the happiness when a team makes a great play, when they are victorious.
But I do not put my heart and my soul into it: into any sport, or team, in this world. Because they are not a part of MY Race. I am not invested in that sport. I have no family members on any teams, I do not make a profit if they win or lose. I’m happy for those who win, but also sad for those who lose. It’s not MY team, and so, beyond that; I could really care less. I am just not competitive in that area.
Yet I AM competitive in the Race that I am running. I refuse to let my Enemy gain the upper hand – in either my Race, or the Race of those I care about. I will fight, and train, and study, and learn – all that I can – to defeat Him and His Legions – and to WIN.
Most athletes quit their sport long before they die. They no longer train, they no longer compete. I cannot say the same. My Race will take every effort until I leave this world. That’s because the finish line in my Race is not UNTIL I leave this world.
And I Run to Win.
It’s a finish line that waits for all of us - though some seem not to know that they are running toward it every moment. I know; it seems pretty silly doesn’t it? I mean, what NFL player wouldn’t know that the goal post is where you’re trying to get? What baseball player would avoid Home Plate? What marathon runner would turn off on a side street to have a nice lunch? Pretty silly, we humans are…
Because THIS race, the one that I’M running, is really the only contest that lasts forever. If you win there – you win for all eternity. If you lose…. Well, there’s no other game that will be coming your way in order to try again.
Run to Win – But first make sure the Race you are running – is the one that really counts.
“Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians. 9:24
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” St. Paul’s final letter to Timothy (the man he trained to follow him) from prison – before execution. 2 Timothy 4:7.
He had finished the Race too.
Ashley and Susan
Two women asking the world to not just hope, but to Hope in Love.