Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)
In horse racing, blinders are used to narrow the field of vision for the horses. Blinders keep the horse looking in the direction the rider wants the horse to go and help to keep the animal from drifting off course. A racehorse that veers off course and bumps another horse may be disqualified from the race.
I would submit that we all could use some blinders from time to time. We have a natural tendency to focus more on what is going on around us than what is going on within us. This often causes us to drift off course from the race marked out for us; we may even to start running someone else’s race. When we do this, we always end up in a place we don’t want to be in and frequently have no idea how we got there.
You see, God has set before each of us our own perfect race that He has called us to run. Now, inasmuch as we will all run it imperfectly, we are still called to run our race . . . not the race someone else is running. When it comes to running our own race, God has ordained particular obstacles to overcome and storms to weather. And when we encounter those difficulties, that is when we are most likely to try to run someone else’s race. But God has called us to run with perseverance the race He has marked out for us, because He knows exactly what we need and when we need it in order to grow into the person He is calling us to be.
What we must remember as we are running our race is to stay in our own lane. Your race doesn’t look like my race, and my race doesn’t look like yours. To be sure, we are all running for the same goal: for God’s glory and the good of others. But God has arranged the parts of the body of Christ just as He wished (1 Corinthians 12:1 8), and each part has a different function and purpose. Each part is running a different race!
One final point about running your own race: When you stay focused on the race you are running, you won’t become fixated on some of the others runners who, from your perspective, might be passing you by. They are running their race and you are running yours. Remember, God knew in advance how well you would run your race. He knows all about the times you will stumble and the times you will drift off course. He knows your blind spots and your weaknesses. And through it all, He has been with you every step of the way.
This is your race. Run it to the best of your ability! Run it when the sky is blue and the clouds are fleecy, and run it when the storms winds are blowing and the waves of challenge are crashing over you. Remember, God has promised you blessings multiplied when you run with perseverance the race He has set before you; so run with Jesus and run with joy!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!