Setting a pace & running the race

I finished in 175th place.

Only eighteen months before I had run an entire 10k without having to walk at any point. This time, however, I found even a 5k a bit difficult to complete.

After my senior year at North Greenville, I made the conscious decision not to let exercise prioritize my life anymore. I continued to eat healthy and attend the gym about 3-4 times a week, but I vowed to never make it an obsession again.

As a result, this race turned out a bit differently than I’d expected. But I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

At first I became frustrated each time someone ran past me. I was tempted to get discouraged, to slow my pace a bit. Why was I even doing this when all these other people seem so much more prepared and better equipped?

And then I felt the Lord speak into my spirit: “Go at the pace that’s right for you.”

You see, I was tempted to speed up. I knew it would make me sick and that I wasn’t physically prepared to do the race at a full run, but the temptation was there. I wanted to be a competitor with the best.

But like this situation, God calls us to run at the pace He’s set for us. We aren’t to run ahead of Him or sink behind Him. But rather He tells us to walk alongside Him, trusting in Him for everything we need.

I was reminded of Proverbs 4:25 which reads, “Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.”

It can be easy to look at other people and envy their walks. They seem to be ahead of you in everything with no issues or impediments ever coming their way.

Meanwhile, as you watch them sprint ahead, you feel stuck in the same place. You seem to be lagging behind, your process a lot more strenuous and coming at a much greater effort than theirs.

Jealous and discontentment creep into your heart, developing into dissatisfaction with where God has you and what your life looks like.

Stop. Right here, right now. Your walk, your purpose isn’t going to look like everyone else’s. Stop playing the comparison game and learn to keep your eyes and heart on the Lord.

2 Timothy 4:7 says “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;”

This is what we are called to, brothers and sisters. To fight for the cause of Christ and to complete the course He’s laid before us. Keep the faith and set your sights on Jesus. Just like Jesus rebuked Peter in John 21 for worrying about what John was going to do, I want to lovingly remind you today that you are to run your race with faithful endurance. It’s all for the glory of God.

Take your mind off of what others are doing and how their purposes manifest themselves. The Lord is worthy of all our attentions and affections both now and forevermore.

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