This past Saturday I ran my second 5K race and was determined to complete it at a better pace than I did my first one. At the beginning I was caught up in the crowd. We lined up behind those that had been training – running- for years. Many of the people back in the staring pace were satisfied to just stroll along. They were just there to enjoy the social part of the event and weren’t pushing themselves at all. Finally I saw an opening to maneuver my way around into so open space. Then I could run or at least go as fast as I could (which some would call a turtle’s pace). After just a littler ways down the course I was breathing HARD and had to slow to a walk. I walked, then ran. Walked and then ran. Each time the runs got shorter and the walks got slower.
As I reached the final hill before the finish line, Dustin caught up to me. Now he is what I call a real runner. He has run races for years include the Marines Corp Marathon but on this day he was pushing a stroller and being a cheerleader for the rest of us. He came up beside as I was once again slowing down. “You need to just find a good steady pace,” he told me. He went to explain how a constant steady pace would get me to the goal of finishing well. If you run to hard you lose momentum as well as focus. In longer runs endurance is the thing that gets to through to the end over simple speed.
I feel like in order to be successful I have to go as fast and as hard as I can. It maybe in running a race, in my job, in my family or even in ministry. Yet also like my physical body, my soul begs for rest. My heart seeks time to be restored. I know that I need to learn find balance between running the race hard and sitting still. I need to slow down and listen.
I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all. ~~~ Ecc 9:11
The race is not to the swift. It is to the one that endures
I need to focus. Take a deep breath and just keep moving.