FOCUS ON YOUR RACE. Many, many years ago when I was in high school, I ran track and field. I remember my first 4 x 100-meter baton race like it was yesterday. I ran so hard I vomited during practices. I forfeited yummy food during lunch every day just so I could be in tip-top shape to sprint around that track. Most of all, I’d gotten past my fear of running out of breath! Y’all track runners know what I mean….or was that just me who was afraid to give everything I had for fear of running out of breath?? Bwaaahhh!!! Lol. I digress.
At any rate, the BIG day had arrived! It was the first district meet of the season, and I was on the women’s 4 x 1 baton relay. I mean, all I could think about was those runner’s cramps and my throw up on the pavement from previous practices better pay off today! (Can you tell I HATE throwing up!?) That throw up was gon’ learn today! *Kevin Hart voice
The gunshot and I could see my teammates sprinting their lives away! At that moment I wondered where my teammate got that puma stride from? Dang girl! Oh, and did I mention I was the only novice runner placed on a team of seasoned sprinters?? Lawd, somebody help me!
I was set to run the fourth leg to bring it on home. My third teammate glared at me so as to say, “Remember the pass off. Don’t drop the baton!” We were in the lead as she inched closer and closer. I turned my body and face forward, stuck my hand and arm back to receive the pass and mentally prepared to annihilate the race.
The crowd was going crazy! My adrenaline was pumping harder than a drum in an HBCU Battle of the Bands event! I took off! All I could see was the victory! “Burst towards the line gurl, burst!” At that moment I learned one of the most important lessons I’d ever learned in my life.
As I was giving that race my all, I glanced in my peripheral, tilted my head a bit, and saw the girl next to me gaining speed. It all became a blur beyond that point. All I know was I was thinking, “Oh no you don’t chiile! This race is mine baby!! There’s throw up on the line!”
I don’t believe we came in first place that day because I remember my coach telling me, “NEVER LOOK BACK OR TO THE SIDE WHEN YOU ARE RUNNING. FOCUS FORWARD.” As I got in the shower today, I was reminded that in this race that we refer to as life, some people may walk, some may jog, some may sprint. The fact of the matter is, I’ve been tasked with the responsibility of running “my own race.” The moment I glance over at someone else’s progress is the moment my destiny is distracted. Unless of course, I’m stopping to help someone out.
The enemy tries to use whomever and whatever He can to derail us from our destinies. How is it possible that a simple glance to the right, & the thought of someone gaining momentum on me able to cause a shift in the entire trajectory of the race, including the work my three other teammates put in?? There’s too much at stake y’all! We must fight to stay focused! Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. They haven’t been given the destiny assignment your Father gave you. You’re comparing a snail’s movement to that of a panther. The designs are inherently different!
Last point. I couldn’t help but to be reminded of Lot’s wife in Genesis 19 who looked back after the angels told her and her family to run for their lives. Why did she look back!? Was she curious as to if “everyone” else was running too? I have no idea, but I know that quick glance cost her, her life. You know the story. She was turned into a pillar of salt as she directed her glance backward. Good gracious is that story not a graphic example to not look back when you’ve been told to move?
Here’s my encouragement. Perhaps that moment in that race was intended to remind me of the importance of keeping my eyes focused forward. After all, there’s much more at stack in life than that simple high school race. Today, commit to being obedient to what your Father has spoken to you. He is Alpha and Omega. He knows your end from the beginning. He needs your cooperation to manifest that which He’s purposed in you. You got this! Trust me, what’s beside & behind you is none of your business. You have your Father’s voice to look forward to—“Well done good and faithful servant!”