"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Monday, October 4, 2010

Eat my dust!

I have a friend who ran a race this past weekend. She went in pumped and ready. As she ran she told me by mile 8 she was over it, but she continued on to the 11 mile goal. As she got to the 11 mile mark, she found out it was actually an 11.7 mile race. She said at that point it was over in her mind, (although knowing this friend, she finished this race).

I only tell this story because it is such a lesson for me right now. I have taken on a task that seems bigger than me, but I am pumped and ready to do it. I trust I will be able to finish what I've started with much divine assistance. Tonight, I am laying in bed-- unable to sleep and have reached the "8 mile mark". Not that I'm over it, but I am realizing just how big the task is and just how small I am. I have one Encourager cheering me on and helping me race to my goal-- the 11 mile mark. I have another pointing out that the 11 mile mark is really an 11.7 mile mark and I will never make it. I have a choice of who to listen too. I can choose to keep running so as to receive the prize for running as hard as I can until the very end even if it is 11.7 miles or I can choose to get overwhelmed with the .7 extra miles and slow my pace and slack off.

The thing is this race consumes me and is even the cause of my every sleepless night. I have realized this because I have not slept in about 8 weeks through the whole night. My mind is always on the race. This racing mind of mine has me awake praying and planning usually around 3am-- tonight it started at 1:30. This past weekend I allowed myself to turn off the race in order to focus on Storytelling weekend and do you know I slept better than I have in 2 months. I guess this is why I was able to work so hard and not get tired, and why I was able to get out of bed early in the morning with no difficulty.

Tonight, I am tempted to give up. The tempter is telling me there is no way I will make it to the end successfully. I know this is a lie, for he is a lier and NEVER tells the truth. I am tired, but I have a cheerleader who will make sure that as long as I keep at it, I will receive the prize at the end of the race.

I have used the race or the running uphill with never reaching a plateau so many times-- yes I am a freak and love to speak in metaphors. Don't know why though? I can think that since it applies to about everything in my life, that this metaphor could be not uniquely my own-- I mean, I am nearly 100% positive that everyone of you have felt this way at some point even if you never actually made it into a metaphor.

It even seems that advertisers have banked on this bet too. I once was driving to Knoxville and was thinking about this race from a financial perspective and I happened to pass a billboard for some bank.It had a man on a bike riding downhill with his hands in the air and the tag line was, "It will get easier". I am guessing that this bank was promising financial ease if you use their bank-- no more riding your bike up the hill, it is all downhill from there.

I took this as a promise from God that eventually it would get easier-- not because I switch to that bank, however. It will get easier because He is with me. Well that race is becoming not so daunting-- I guess I have reached the 8 mile mark and can look and see where I have come from. I can see how the distance in the forward direction is actually shorter than the distance I have come. I just need to keep running the last 3.7 miles and I'll reach my goal.

In my other races I need to have the same perspective. I need to look at where I have come from and who is on my side. I may not be at the 8 mile mark. I may still be at the point where God is showing me the billboard that says I will get there. It will get easier. Maybe He is just promising me the 8 mile mark is on the horizon. Either way I have to keep going to get to the end.

I am reminded that Paul used the same metaphor. He related his life to being in a race too. [I used to find fault in Paul for he always seemed so arrogant and chauvinistic to me as a young woman, but you know the more I learn about him and the more I learn about the 1 century AD, the more I have come to respect him and his passion for Christ.]

Acts 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

1 Corinthians 9:24 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.

Galatians 2:2 I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain.

Galatians 5:7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Hebrews 12:1 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.

You know, no where are we ever told that the race would be easy. We are just told it will have an end. At the end there is a prize. What we have to do is not set ourselves up for failure. We need to go into the race with the prize in mind. Never lose focus on the prize and we will finish the race no mater how bad it hurts and how tired we become.

My friend finished the race I am sure of it-- she had her eye on the goal. She may have been tired, but she finished. Her goal may not have been first place (which I don't even know where she placed) but to finish the race by doing her best. My goal is to run this race which includes all sorts of mini races (a polyathalon of sorts [yes I realize I invented a race-- I think] ), but I am only competing against me. I am racing and will do my best, which really is all I can do. My best will be good enough, because God will make sure of it.

So, satan get behind me! You are only in my way. Eat my dust!

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