Raise your hand if you enjoy running.
To be honest, I’ve never been much of a runner. Like a lot of people, I ran track in school. I have a very clear memory from one of my early track meets. We were on the bus heading into the mountains when my coach came over and asked if I’d step in for the 4x400 relay. I’d never done that length of relay before, but how hard could it be? Without a second thought, I agreed and promptly shifted my thoughts back to my other events.
Once at the school track, I went through my normal routine: high jump, long jump, triple jump (see a trend there? I was definitely more of a jumper than a runner). At the very end of the track meet, the announcer called the relay contestants to the starting line. Baton in hand, I waited until the whistle blew, and I raced ahead as if running down the long jump runway.
For anyone who didn’t do track, an entire lap around a football field is MUCH longer than a long jump sprint. Half way in, I looked back to see a large gap between me and the next runner, and that’s when the fatigue hit. Ask any runner, and they’ll say to watch your pacing. Otherwise, you’ll burn out too soon. I had never ran this race before, and it was all too evident in that moment that I’d chosen the wrong pace.
My legs began to cramp, my lungs were burning (did I mention we were in the mountains?). I wanted to quit, but that’s when I heard the excited cheers of my teammates. My body told me to slow down, take a breath and relax … but their encouragement was enough to redirect my focus. Even if we didn’t win, I’d finish my length of the race for the sake of my teammates.
Exhausted, I reached the starting line and handed off my baton to the next runner moments before I downed half a bottle of water and collapsed onto the grass.
Now raise your hand if you’ve ever worked toward a goal?
I think most everyone can relate to this one: get that promotion, buy that house, finish this degree, make it through the workweek until the weekend … We are constantly striving after goals, whether they be big or small, short-term or long. It’s amazing how much we mark our lives by reaching certain milestones, as if they are the medals we wear around our necks.
What are you racing toward?
Sometimes, the race seems smooth and uneventful, but other times, it can feel like we’re in over our heads. We’ve chosen the wrong pace for this race we find ourselves in, and the idea of continuing down this path sounds terrifying and exhausting. What then?
We shift our focus.
Not to the momentary discomfort, not to the growing to-do list or the hundreds of questions and worries around us. But to the author and perfecter of our faith.
Like when Jesus asks Peter to walk on water … When we focus on Him, He will lead us in ways unimaginable. To walk on water. But the moment Peter turns his focus toward the waves, he begins to sink because he’s already forgotten who he is walking with.
Is there an area of your life you are struggling to get through? Look toward Jesus. Are you in a season of doubt or worry? Look to Jesus. Are you pressing on toward that goal, and all your plans seem to be going as planned? Continue to look toward Jesus.
“...I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)
“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
-Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
The Glass Road (A Prescott Family Romance, #2)
Austin Wright had bigger dreams than to inherit his grandfather’s old property, but with the help of his nephew and a few volunteers, he decides to reopen the idyllic summer camp of his youth.
Following her accident at the first triathlon of the season, Tess Prescott’s dreams of the Olympics are shattered, and when her brother volunteers her to work at his friend’s summer camp, she is anything but pleased. Determined to make the best of a bad situation, and to keep herself busy while she recovers, she reluctantly agrees, and ultimately learns the joy of being part of a team.
In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, two people must learn to work together if they have any chance of making it through this season of change—even if it means sacrificing the dreams they once strove so hard to protect. But one unexpected secret could have the power to unravel it all.
Available October 11, 2022