You know how when you haven’t worked out in a while and the next day you feel sore and want to quit? Well, that’s because your body isn’t used to the new and improved you. Your body isn’t used to working out or being on the new diet plan.
How about when you got saved? You feel like the world as finally been lifted off your your shoulders. The day you feel Jesus’ presence and get baptized you feel cleansed and renewed.
Remember learning how to ride a bike? For me, it was fun riding with training wheels. But, the day came when those two lil wheels came off and I was all on my own. I had the feeling of accomplishment and independence.
After all that training, washing and riding somewhere down the line you backslide. You cheat on your diet, skip gym sessions, stop reading, and you fall off the bike. The common denominator is you can eventually get back on track IF you want to. You simply weigh your options. Healthy living over diabetes, Jesus over the world, and faith over fear.
Life is a race. From the day you are born you are conditioned for the “race of your life”. Your parents teach you all they can and at some point during your race you are taught some form of religion. I was raised in a Christian home and a Baptist church. I am the fourth generation to serve in my church. From then on, I learned to not only do what my mother said but to do what God said. When I went out into the world I was armed with what Mom taught me and the best reference book, The Bible and from that day on my race started.
I have three life coaches. The Father (watches over me), The Son (died for me), and The Holy Spirit (guides me). I was also given a physical and living coach on this side of the world. That coach was my mommy. She prayed, kissed, hugged, comforted, supported and unconditionally loved me. I’m sure there were and still are conference calls on what to do with me. No matter how far or long I’ve been gone I’ve always had a place to call home. A place I could go back to. My mother’s home, her arms and the church’s alter. In those places I found all of the things I needed to continue my race. Things that I may have forgotten or dropped when I lost my way. When I began to feel better and I see the road ahead of me I notice that right around the curve are the hurdles.
Who would have known that there would be so many hurdles? Choosing Jesus over the world isn’t an easy part of the race. Is there even an easy part? I was given a Bible for a reason. It is my spiritual water. I drink it to replenish my body, to give me energy, to keep fighting and to remember to have faith. At the finish line are the gates of heaven. The reward is seeing my family sitting at Jesus’ feet and surrounded by The Holy Ghost.
I’ve had the honor to see my Gran run her some of her race. She was so graceful and regal when she ran. Gran ran as if she was the only one running. People would stop (minding their own business so to speak) running their own race just to see her pass by. I’ve heard stories of her races before I was born and all I could do was imagine what it must have been like to see her in action, live and in living color.
God blessed me with the chance to watch my Mom run hers, to even participate in it. To pass her the Bible (her spiritual water) when she was thirsty. To hold her hand when she was weak, to wipe her tears when she cried and to hear her prayers just before she reached her finish line. Heavy heartedly I cheered her on with tears in my eyes.
I’ve gotten off course since Mom finished her race. I guess it’s because having her here made my race seem easier. As I put my running shoes back on and grab my Bible, I am reminded of the runners before me. They never quit or gave up and left me with all the tools I needed to continue on running. I must run my race with same dignity and tenacity they had.
One of the tools they left me with is encouragement. To encourage the runners who are running with and after me. While I can’t run your race for you, I can help you along the way. I can share my joys, sorrows, accomplishments, mistakes and lessons.
So as you read this and run your own race be encouraged. Know that even when you feel you’re alone, you’re not. When you feel like giving up, don’t. If you have to take a break, it’s ok just make sure you get back up and keep going. Enjoy the race when you can. Stop and smell the roses. You don’t want to run your race and reach the finish line only to look back without having a sense of accomplishment. Don’t let precious moments in life to pass you by. Be faithful and prayerful, you’ll finish strong.
Dedicated to CB…