the race

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We’ve been encouraging our kids to read the Bible faithfully for years. About three or four years ago I became a little more vocal of my desire for them to read the Bible start to finish, the whole thing cover to cover.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised a few years back that Kenz shared with us she had started and was going to read the Bible cover to cover. She kept us updated occasionally on her progress and included  her opinion on how difficult it was. “I’m never gonna remember any of this, I don’t even understand some of what I’m reading”! she announced regularly.

“It doesn’t matter, you’ll get more out of it than you know, you’ll gain deeper wisdom than you have any idea of right now,” was my typical response, then I’d add something like, “Good for you, you’re actually doing it. You know how many people have never done what you’re doing”? — “Keep it up, you’ll be glad you did”!

I never attempted to read the Bible cover to cover when I was her age, I was too busy chasing the wind. It’s a difficult task for her with school and all, but she gives us updates over the years as to where she’s at in her quest to read the Bible. She’s not setting any speed record, but she’s hasn’t quit, she hasn’t thrown in the towel.

I look around and watch people work on their goals and dreams, but the majority of them give up, throw in the towel and  quit at the first road block or difficulty that falls in their path. I’ve done some of my own towel tossing along the way.

I used to tell this same story over the years I coached girls Lacrosse. I told it so often that soon if I sensed the girls were lacking passion I’d only have to threaten them with this story to make my point.

In school one year at an away track meet, my coach asked me, well actually told me I’d have to run the 880 yard race. I typically ran the 220 and 440. Even though I didn’t want to run that race in addition to my other ones, I set in my head to win that race.

The race came down to only two of us, me and the now infamous kid who was only known to me by his last name, “Grimes.” I kept him on my outside shoulder around all the turns and worked him to never let him have the inside line. We were stride for stride coming around the last turn less than 100 yards from the finish line.

I was sprinting with all I had left in my tank thinking I’d bury him in the last 20 yards. With less than 20 yards left he started edging ahead of me, with less than 10 yards he had a half stride on me. With less than 5 yards, he had a full stride on me…

That’s where I quit… My sprint turned into a jog for the last two strides. My fate was sealed, I would have to settle for second.

The point of my story isn’t that I finished second or didn’t win, the point is I didn’t give 100% through the finish line. I’ve regretted that race my whole life. That little incident inspired me to never quit at anything I’m endeavoring to do regardless if I’m winning or pulling up the rear.

I’ve learned what our oldest seems to have figured out, run the race of this life with intention, perseverance, and we win regardless of where we place. To run the race of life with God as the catalyst and passion sets us up to finish the race with no chance of losing.

Kenz walked into the kitchen Saturday morning, she didn’t say good morning. She asked me a loaded question, “Guess what I did this morning”? With one wary eyebrow raised I answered a bit harshly, “What.” “I FINISHED REVELATION THIS MORNING”!!! She gushed. “Are you kidding”? I asked knowing yet still dumbfounded. “Yep, I finished it”! she was floating.

“I can’t tell you how proud  I am of you girl”! — “Good job”! –“Congratulations-that’s awesome”! I was floating too.

It took her a while, but she’s figuring out this race of life…

She’s learning it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish…