The Race Is Not Always to the Swift

If you were a child who grew up in America you are almost certainly familiar with the story of “The Hare and the Tortoise.” The story, one pf Aesop’s Fables, begins with a speedy hare mocking a tortoise for his slowness, asking, “Do you ever get anywhere?”

The tortoise replies, “Yes, and I get there sooner than you think. I’ll run you a race and prove it.”

The race begins. The hare leaves the tortoise in the dust. And you know the rest of the story. The cocky hare takes a nap only to wake and find the tortoise crossing the finish line and winning the race.


Scripture tells us that our Christian life is like a race.

We are told that we need to each run the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1) That insinuates that my race and yours may not look the same. As with the tortoise you may have been given long, strong, fast-acting legs for running quick, long and hard, while I have been given short stubby legs (spiritually speaking of course) for a slow pace and endurance to accomplish whatever purpose my Maker created me for.

Am I persevering in my calling, or am I looking around seeing others with a different calling running faster or slower and comparing myself either in pride or through feelings of inferiority? I am only asked to finish my race well, not to be like others.

The Apostle Paul indicated that he wanted to be sure he wasn’t running the race in vain. (Galatians 2:2) The word translated vain means empty. The idea would be like that of a basketball player heading the wrong way down the court and sinking a basket – it was was an empty, scoreless, useless basket for his team. It was in vain. He had put in the effort to do it when it wasn’t the “race” he was supposed to running.

Am I running the race God has laid out before me? Am I angry about the race I was assigned to run? Maybe it is the childless race, the cancer race, the unmarried race, the financially deprived race… Am I too busy looking around at others who seem to have the “fun” races to run and neglecting to give my all to the race I’m in – to focus on my basket at my end of the court?

Maybe I was running a good race and I’ve lost my drive and my passion. Paul talks to the Galatians about this too. In chapter five he asks them, “Who cut in on you to keep your from obeying the truth?” That’s a good question for us as well. Who or what is distracting you and keeping you from obeying the truth of “loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” of “going and making disciples”?

If you go to your child’s track meet or ball game, you are rooting for them to win. They are competing for an honor, a victory, a prize. In sports we compete to win. If eight runners compete in a 400 meter race, seven of the eight will lose. There will be only one first place finisher. All eight runners want to be That One.

The running the race of the Christian life is unlike that physical race. Since each of us has a race marked out by the Father for us to run, then we each have the opportunity to win our race. I am called to run my race and you are called to run your race of life. Scripture tells us that we are to run in such a way to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24) You are. I am.

Are you running for the prize? Are you living your God-called life giving it everything you’ve got like you did in that sack race in 2nd grade? Are your running for the Gold in your Christian race? Or have you stopped to socialize with all your fans who are watching? Or to get some water and sit and rest for a bit?

Let’s encourage each other. Run hard! Run your best! Give your whole heart, soul, mind and strength to running the race the Father has given you. Run to win the prize! Follow the Father. Finish strong!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12:1

I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. Galatians 2:2

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? Galatians 5:7

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24

Passing On Traditions

My daughter and son in law took their two daughters to an Alabama football game. They have been teaching them the traditions of Alabama Football. They are learning the cheers and the songs. They have Alabama outfits and pompoms. This week they were even decked out with stickers. They love the Elephant Walk and the Walk of Champions.

I have friends who are Auburn fans who love to show their children or grandchildren the eagle flying across the stadium. Every school has its own traditions. It is so much fun to participate in what makes your school unique.

While participating in sports is fun and watching the future generations carry on traditions, there are other traditions that are even more important. It is the responsibility of each generation to pass on our faith to the next generation. Our family currently has 3 generations attending GFBC. Our son and his family attend GFBC with us. Our daughter and her family attend in their hometown.

I have prayed for the salvation of my grandchildren since before they were born. We only have the 4-year-old to go. What a blessing it is to see faith in Jesus Christ passed on to another generation. I love seeing the grandchildren participate in choir and missions organizations. They have been involved in Sunday Bible study and worship services. One has gone to camp. Another will go to camp this summer. I am so excited that they love Jesus and love going to church to worship Him.

Proverbs 22:6 NIV. Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

I claim this verse for my grandchildren and for my niece and nephews. The next generation may mean different things to you. It may be children of friends, nieces or nephews, neighbors, children you teach in Bible groups, or other children you come in contact with. How beautiful it is to pass our salvation on to the next generations!

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
Isaiah 52:7

Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright

As a homeschooling mom for sixteen years, there were random times of insecurity and questioning about whether my kids were getting as good of an education as I thought they were. I was diligent, well prepared, and conscientious about their schooling. I did lesson plans and research and prep work. I planned field trips, experiments, and reinforcing projects. But… Was I educating them as thoroughly as I thought I was? Could they make the score they needed on the ACT to get into college? Would they be able to “make it” in college? Would they be equipped for life? Would I overlook something and “cripple” them in their education? “What about socialization?” everyone asked. As I stressed through years of schooling four kiddos my emotions were up and down. Fears abounded.

Now those little kids range in age from 25-35. My answer to my previous fears – Yes, they were getting a quality education. No, I didn’t ruin them. They have now all graduated, gone to college, and are thriving in their preferred fields. Two are pursuing post-graduate degrees, one of those being my little dyslexic (who did not learn to read until 3rd grade!). They live all over the US and the world. And they even have friends-lots of friends! It’s amazing that socialization hasn’t been an issue. (Wink!)

I look back now at all my fears, tears and sleepless nights and realize that those were a waste of time. How much more could I have done with my mind if I had not wasted precious hours letting those negative thoughts and doubts take-up residence in my mind.

Friends, we have a loving Father who tells us in His Word that “All things work together for good for those who love Him…” All things! Even an imperfect mom for a teacher. Even a frequently messy house. Even bad things like my sins and failings, were put to good use in teaching me and allowing me to see my great need for a Savior. He tells us He is with us always. That He will rescue us. That He will provide for us. That we don’t need to fear.

Did I listen to these words of truth and comfort as a busy young mom? No, not when I was in the heat of battle. If only I would have acted in belief. Because now, looking back I can see, God handled Every. Little. Thing. These days I’ve learned to cling to my history with my Faithful Father – to base my faith in how He has treated me in the past. I can say with Samuel, “Thus far the Lord has helped me.” I know and can rely on who He is and what He has done (and will do), and it makes potential worrisome thoughts today easier to bear up under.

My experience as a homeschooler may not be yours, but my God is yours, and He always acts according to His character and not according to my frail human expectations. So what is my point for you? Don’t wait until you’re near retirement age to give up the worrying and fear. Do it now. Choose today to begin acting in faith based on Jehovah’s character, not on your doubts or what is going on around you. As Anna Sewell stated in Black Beauty “Do your best, And leave the rest, ‘Twill all come right Some day or night.”

Remember that you have a faithful Father and that every little thing is gonna be alright! Really.