We’re following in the “footsteps” of last week’s devotional, Running with Purpose. This week, Debbie Engle shares another “running” reflection about the race we face. Good stuff!
The Race You Face
by Deborah Engle
Being a person who always strives to do my best, I still have to admit, I rarely come in first place. I’ve done some pretty nice artwork, and I’ve written a few interesting stories, but I’ve never been able to claim that elusive “blue ribbon.” As a kid, I could run fast…faster than anyone, except Diane Green. It seems there is always someone better than me.
Though I plan and work and give my best effort, something always hinders. Why did I have to schedule eight different appointments before my four visits to the dentist were complete? After all my careful budgeting, why is this bill twice what I expected it to be? Why did my back go out the day before the big move? I truly want to get things right, but more often than not, complications arise. I want to be a winner, but instead, often suspect there is a large “L” tattooed on my forehead.
Hebrews 12:1 encourages us to “…run with patience the race that is set before us.” God knows me better than I know myself, and He knows what I am capable of accomplishing. He has chosen the race I face. The end of chapter 11 recounts some of the severe hardships suffered by the early believers. I’ve never had to endure scourgings, torture, or imprisonment. My struggles don’t even begin to compare to such things. I’m grateful for that, and to be honest, I doubt I could do what others must do.
Could I ride a bicycle 18 miles to get to a church service? Would I do that, knowing that once there, I would not be able to communicate effectively with others because of a facial deformity that limits my ability to speak? Would I join in congregational singing, with my unintelligible words? I don’t think so, but Bill does all those things. Without even knowing it, he is an inspiration to me. In my opinion, he is the one who deserves the blue ribbon.
Your response to difficulties might be just the inspiration someone else needs. The next time you make a seemingly innocent comment that greatly offends someone, or when things at work are looking bad, be encouraged. You’re right where God wants you. Your job is to “…press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phiippians 3:14).
That is the kind of blue ribbon I want to win.