Life is like a Race, both have a beginning and an end. Both take time to finish. Both will take you on a journey. I believe that it’s not unusual for the two to have a lot in common because even the Bible compares Life to a Race. The Apostle Paul used the word Race in the New International Version six times as a metaphor for Life. A month ago, me and my church mates joined the the annual fund raising event: “Race for Life” organized by the Real Life Foundation. It was my second time to participate in this event and my first time to sign-up for the 10K category.
While I was running, God revealed to me a lot of things regarding the similarities of Life and Race. It was one of those divine moments where I felt God just speaking to me at different points in the Race. I felt God telling me: “This is a picture of your life, learn from the metaphors that I am giving you so that you can see how life is designed”. The revelations from that race were so amazing that I just had to share them. Here are my insights from my experience:
1) Life is a Marathon not a sprint
When the race started, there were a lot of people who have gone ahead of me at first, I estimate them to be around 150-200 runners. However, instead of trying to beat them early on by increasing my speed, I chose to stick to my game plan and pace myself for the first few minutes. Later, this would prove to be beneficial because I was able to sustain my pace and even increase it a bit. From my experience, I learned that if I chose to rush things in running, it would backfire because my legs will get tired and I’ll be out of breath early on.
Similarly, life is a marathon and not a sprint. We tend to do a lot of things, multitask and speed up certain activities. In life we will need stamina and endurance so that we will be able to accomplish more later as the years pass. The risk we take if we always rush things and perform at a high pace is that of being burnt out. Later in life we may probably get too tired and have no more energy when we need it the most.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Patience is a virtue 🙂
2) Obstacles and Challenges in life
As the race continued, I suddenly found myself slowly but surely passing by some of the participants had gone ahead of me early on. I realized that as I kept on running, passing by them would only take a matter of time. Each participant that I passed symbolizes obstacles and challenges in life that will I’ll experience in life. With patience and persistence, I know that if I focus and not give up, I’ll definitely be able to overcome these obstacles in life.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
The apostle Paul exhorts us to run this race with perseverance because we will definitely need it in this Race of Life. 🙂
3) Inevitable peaks and troughs in life – (Mountain Moving and Mountain Climbing Faith)
After passing St. Luke’s Medical Center, the course of the race suddenly shifted as we were about to go to Makati. The race goes through the overpass that connects Fort Bonifacio and Makati. The incline on that overpass was really high. I feel that if I were to run on a treadmill, the level of inclination would be at 10-15. Going up that overpass was quite a challenge. It would take the breath out of you and you’ll feel your legs starting to feel the burden of the incline. On the contrary, as we were going down the overpass, it took way less effort than any part of the race combined because I had the help of gravity with me which made it a lot easier.
The same is true in life, there will be times wherein it feels as if the grace of God just carries you through in every situation you are in. These are the time wherein it just feels like heaven. On the contrary, there are also times wherein God doesn’t move the mountain in front of us. Therefore in cases like this we need to climb it and just continue to live by faith. Even though there will be times that God doesn’t seem to answer our prayer we choose to live by faith and climb the mountains that are in front of us.
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,[a] just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” As Christians, we live by faith and not by sight. 🙂
4) Isaiah 40:30 – Even youths grow tired and weary young men stumble and fall
After completing the first half of the race, the race turns aroudn and goes through the overpass again. After going through that overpass again, I got so exhausted. This just goes to show that my stamina and my endurance will not last forever. There was a time wherein I just felt like giving up, stop running and just walk. However, just as I was about to slow down, I said no and then turned to my iTouch and played the song “Nothing is Impossible”. After being inspired by that song, I decided to sustain my speed and even increase it a little bit faster than before.
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
This just goes to show that in life, we will all get tired, we will all get weary, we will all fail one way or another. However, the promise of God is that if we put our hope in Him, then he will renew our strengths and we will soar on wings like eagles; we will run, and continue running without having to be weary. This is one of the promises of God that just amazes me everytime I remember it. 🙂
5) The Importance of building the right foundations early
As we were getting ready and waiting for the gunshot to start the race, I noticed that Pastor Ferdie Cabiling was there competing for the 10K race as well. Pastor Ferdie Cabiling is well known for being a triathlon athlete and a few months ago he just finished a 102 KM Ultra Marathon. This guy is a seasoned veteran when it comes to running, and during the race, I kept my eye on him with the hopes of being able to overtake him soon enough. After we reached the 5K mark, Pastor Ferdie was still within sight, but after going through the overpass again, he sped up and I suddenly lost him. When I got back to the starting line, I realized that there was no way that I could have overtook Pastor Ferdie because he was definitely trained for this.
This just goes to show us how important it is to build on the proper foundation early on as we go through this race called life. Pastor Ferdie has definitely been training a long time already for races like this and that is why he just breezed through the whole thing. In fact, Pastor Ferdie has been a Christian for the longest time as well and has followed Jesus ever since he was a student. This is why a lot of people look to his leadership, it’s because he started early in his walk with God. He understood the principles of building a biblical foundation in your life so that you’ll be able to soar in your walk with God later on. This is the reason he soared during the race, because of the right foundation that he got from his training.
1 Corinthians 3:11
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Building the right foundation in your life early will definitely benefit you later in life. 🙂
6) Not finishing number 1
I just got the results of the recently concluded Race for Life 2011 last week and though I was able to pass a lot of people, I was still a long way from finishing number 1. I finished 76th, which was not bad since it was my first time to compete for a 10K race. All in all, I was happy with my results since I was able to finish 10K in 55:13 minutes, less than an hour. Similarly in life, winning and being the best in this world isn’t the most important thing. What is more important is the journey that God takes you through in this life. I may not be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but it really doesn’t matter. God planned a unique race for me and this is my race which I wouldn’t exchange for anyone else’s. If life is all about being number 1 in you career, sport, or competition then that would simply imply that a lot of people are a failure since not everyone can finish as number 1. Life is not all about being number, but Life is really about giving praise and glory to the only real number 1 in our lives and that is Jesus. 🙂
Ecclesiastes 9:11 (NLT)
I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
In this Race of Life we have to focus our eyes on Jesus, else we’ll get derailed of the race that he has planned for us. Other than this race, this life would not be worth living for. Run the Race of Life! Run God’s race for you. God bless everyone! 🙂