Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Compete and Finish

Most Tuesday mornings I find myself in a very warm high school gymnasium running up and down the floor with other 
‘30/40/50-something’s’ who still believe ‘we have it!’ While it’s good fellowship and exercise, I truly believe there’s just one thing that drives each of us to wake up before sunrise for basketball - Competition. It pushes us to rise above whatever is in front of us and finish. We all need that competitive edge to survive, right?

(Where we spend our Tuesday & Friday mornings - Bel Air, MD)
This morning I showed up at the usual time and the floors of the gymnasium were being refinished. Some were coming to play on the outdoor court, but instead I went over to get my morning jog on at the Ma & Pa Trail as well as downtown Bel Air. I must admit (because of my guilty conscience) that I haven’t been able to run in over a week.

(I believe they call it this to make fun of us - Bel Air, MD)
After about the second mile I felt it and immediately began thinking about this competition thing. Scripture tells us that it’s not wise to compare ourselves to others. For that reason, I truly believe that the greatest competitor we have is not the guy trying to score on me on Tuesday or Friday mornings in basketball……it’s the one that stares back at me in the mirror each morning…the one that tells me my innermost thoughts. 

We have enough voices telling us we can’t. If you listen to some around you, they will tell you:
I’m faster.
I can do this better than you.
There’s no way you’re going to be able to accomplish that.

If anyone is going to accomplish the great things God has for you to do, someone has to gather the courage to COMPETE with your own mind, rise above it all, and finish.

Runners train and prepare more than their legs for that 26.2 mile marathon…they prepare their mind for the ‘invisible wall’ they will hit at some point that makes them want to stop. Some have told me they hit their wall 30 seconds in…J, others hit it at 10 miles; but every runner says they will come to that moment where their bodies tell them they simply cannot go another step. Many times another runner who has been right there will come up beside them, encouraging them to FINISH.

A runner recently shared with me that while competing in her last marathon, she hit the wall a few miles before the end. A friend saw her struggling and slowed back to run along with her. He simply said, “Look, you’ve been here before. Just like the last time…dig down deep. You’ve got this.” Needless to say, she finished.

It doesn’t matter where you are in this journey of life, what ‘wall’ you’ve hit that’s trying to get you to give up, I want to encourage you today to get out and compete. As I struggled today on the trail, I had to encourage myself to compete against my own weariness. Don’t settle for the easy way out and simply quit. If there’s no friend around to slow back and encourage you, do what David did in I Samuel 30. He hit the proverbial wall and was afraid for his own life, but scripture said he ‘…encouraged himself in the Lord his God.’

May God help us to be like Paul when he wrote the words: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me…” (II Timothy 4:7-8 NLT) Notice Paul didn’t say ‘we’….he said, “I”. I….have fought the fight. I….have finished the race. I….have remained faithful.

(The beginning of the struggle - Ma & Pa Trail, Bel Air, MD)
When you hit the wall, don’t feel sorry for yourself and back down…..COMPETE and FINISH!

No comments:

Post a Comment