Are You Winning The Race?

Did you ever watch the Amazing Race show on television? It’s a race that takes its contestants, running helter-skelter, to various parts of the world, with intriguing clues to follow and innovative tasks to be performed.

It is amazing to watch the contestants in this race, eager and striving to follow the rules of the game. At times, it all seems like fun, yet at other times the race seems strenuous. Tempers flare, and anxious moments abound. Eventually, in the midst of it all, some people win.

As I watched the show some evenings ago, it reminded me of life in general and how we all seem to be in a race of some kind with everybody running and nobody really winning.

I find that though we sometimes seem to be on the mountain tops, yet that sense of victory can be short-lived; before long, we seem to be at a standstill, not feeling like winners at all.

Though we all have our goals in the natural realm, and we all want to be counted as winners, yet in the race that followers of Christ run, from a spiritual point of view, everyone is a winner. There is no competition, no contestants, and swiftness and skills do not count.

Our only skills for running well, and winning too, are persistence in prayer, walking by faith in God, and not by sight. These are the hallmarks of a winner in the race of life. And everyone can be a winner.

Consider the wise words of King Solomon: “...the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong...” This helps us better understand the spiritual race of life. Consider, also, that the apostle Paul, viewed the prize of the spiritual race as “the high calling of God.”

It is true that the most important prize we could ever strive for is a closer walk with God.

As we contemplate our goals and plans for the future, hoping to achieve them and be counted as winners, it would be wise to also give thought to winning the “prize” of gaining a closer walk with God by deepening our knowledge of Him and having Him direct our paths.

I counselled a young couple recently who are in thousands of dollars of debt. Their financial situation is causing much tension between them and they are both running to and fro with extra jobs, trying to make ends meet. I encouraged them to sit with pen and paper and examine each purchase that caused the debt to see if it was really necessary.

The result was that many items they bought were not really needed but it was a matter of not making themselves seem less among their friends.

They began to see that keeping up with family, friends and others, and stretching themselves to acquire things is a race of some kind, and there is a sense of one-upmanship behind it. They now see that where there is a keeping up with the Joneses, there is no peace of mind but a race that involves many hours of extra work and keeping up with the demands of the bank.

And at this time of year, when resolutions and goals are still fresh in our thoughts, it is timely to meditate on the wise words of King Solomon given below.

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong...” (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

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