A melody pierced the darkness, tickling my ears… the alarm on my phone was notifying me that morning had come… Though the sun hadn’t received the memo, I’d have to rise-and-shine anyway.
Quick as I could, I donned my Brooks gear and set out for the island… Antelope Island. It would be my first 5k race in years, and I was excited to participate!
As I drove up to the marina, runners were already trying to stave off the morning chill with a brisk jog. With every step, their breath hung in the air, white as the clouds.
What seemed like an eternity later, it was our turn to race. Stopping at the park’s stone cold bathrooms more times than I’d like to admit, I was replete… not an ounce remained within me.
“3, 2, 1… Go!”
We were off!
The first hundred yards were uphill. Adrenaline raced through my blood… my legs were like jelly, but seemed to be running on autopilot. As I quickened my pace, I began to pass people on the uphill climb. Before I knew it, there were only 3 people ahead of me.
I could tell I was running too fast, but I couldn’t seem to slow myself down… Towards the mile mark, I reminded myself of my task… Sarah, run your OWN race. Yes, that was it… Focus. Run your OWN race.
Rather than compare myself to where I was in the pack, who was ahead of me, who was behind me, I needed to stay focused on my race… my breathing… my stride… my pace…
And, life is like this, too…
More than I’d like to admit, I’ve compared my life to other people’s lives, at times coveting and craving their path through life.
But comparison is a killer. It will kill our joy, our motivation, our value. Comparison dismisses our own uniqueness… our personality, our upbringing, our one-of-a-kind figure, our lineage…
“We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”*
God meant for it to be this way. For you to be, YOU. He prepared in advance the path our life would take… the hills, the valleys, the scenery… Custom made for you.
Rounding the halfway marker, I focused on my breathing… with each swing of my arms, my lungs breathed out. I focused on my steps… each step firmly planted on the blacktop. I focused on my goal… to get up that last hill… around that last bend… down the final stretch…
Finish line in view, I gave it all I had left…
“And here she is finishing with a time of 27 minutes…”
I’d done it. I’d run my race. And it felt good.
“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”**
We each have our own race. We will finish in our own time. We will run at our own pace. And this is to God’s credit. He loves us too much to give us all the same journey. So, run your race and don’t look back.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”***
***1 Corinthians 9:24
pc: Sarah Coffey, Antelope Island, Utah