AHEAD OF THE PACK
“He, who goes slowly, goes far.” This sounds like pretty sound advice, and my dad used it frequently when I was growing up. Apparently his many years of wisdom had taught him to take his time, and not rush. To think things through and make right decisions, for him this made sense, but try conveying that message to a teenager that’s full of energy and knows everything anyway.
Thirty of us stood at the starting line on the track of our high school ready to run the half, mile, that’s two laps around the football field. It wasn’t a race, it was simply an exercise. Well I decided to make it a race. I looked at the distance it didn’t look too far. I checked out my competition, and I was in better condition than most of them.
We’re about ready to start; I take my tennis shoes off because I always run faster barefoot. Now I’m just going to take off and go full speed ahead, all the way to the finish line. We’re off! And now I’m flying, taking a good thirty yard lead ahead of the pack. I could hear, probably in my own mind, the crowd cheering me on.
Half way around the track, I learned where the phrase “and then the legs went out from under me” came from. I stood on the track with my hands on my knees trying to catch my breath as I watched runner after runner look at me pathetically as they passed me up. Even the guy who weighed three hundred pounds snickered as he scooted by.
I finally got going again, but by that time, all of those guys I ran so proudly ahead of waited for me to cross the finish line, dead last. It’s amazing how over thirty years later I can still feel the humiliation I felt on that day.
Some experiences you never get over and maybe that’s a good thing. The lessons I learned that day will stay with me forever. I found that it is always better to enjoy the run, pace myself, and enjoy the company of those around me rather than to boost my ego by trying to make others look bad.
I learned that day to take my time, don’t rush, think things through and make right decisions. Today I try my very best to live in harmony with everyone. I have learned that when you are too far ahead, or too far behind, you are alone. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends (2 Cor. 10:18).
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Dear Lord, never allow me to compete against others in a way that brings attention only to myself. Let me enjoy the run and not feel I have to win the race in order to boost my ego at the expense of others.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
Only when we walk through life with God do we find ultimate meaning!