Back in seventh grade, in the late 70’s, I joined the schools track team.  The coach asked me if I wanted to do the 440, now called the 400.  Shoot, how hard could it be to run around the track once, I had thought.  Now mind you, I am no runner, but I was young and it felt good when the coach asked me to join the team.  He probably asked me because no one else wanted to do the 440 race and he was looking for someone, more like anyone to fill the spot.

I learned to stretch, how to use the starting blocks, and trained for the 440.  I vaguely remember the coach giving me some tactical information such as to pace myself and not pull out in front of the group of runners too soon but to wait until after the last turn and then pour on the speed to the finish line.

At the first meet I remember getting set for my race by putting on my spikes.  Some of the other girls were stretching while others were jogging in place, so I did the same.  My hands were sweaty and the butterflies in my stomach didn’t help me at all.  What the heck was I doing here?  This isn’t fun, I thought.

“Get ready!”  It was time, so I shook out one leg, like the others, and put my foot in the block than the other.  I placed my hands at the line making sure I wasn’t on it, at least I knew that part.

“Set!”  I raised my butt in the air.

BAM!  The gun fired and off I went.  The girls where going kind of slow making their way to the inner lane.  I thought, what the heck, we aren’t going to get anywhere unless we pick up the speed.  So, I started to pull up to the front.  Then I passed the gal in the front as the feeling of power rushed through me.  As I ran through the first curve on the track I noticed that I was pulling away from the pack.  Oh yeah, I was winning, just like one of those supper Olympians!

From somewhere I could hear the voice of my coach, “Slow down!  Stay with the pack!”

Honestly, I just wanted to get the race over with so I kept running as fast as my legs could take me.  As I approached the second turn all the runners passed by me.  My body was working and moving as fast as it could but I felt like I was moving in slow motion.  My breathing couldn’t keep up with the demands of my body, my vision narrowed where I only saw the track in front of me.   I didn’t know if I would make it but by sheer determination, I crossed the finish line in last place.   How did that happen when I was ahead?

Looking back, I see where I went wrong. I have never told anyone this story because it’s embarrassing to me to think how I wouldn’t follow simple instructions from my coach to help me run the race successfully.  I should have stayed with the pack and not expended all my energy at the first part of the race.

There were other meets with the 440 but being the stubborn person I am, I continued to do the same thing each time.  I think maybe at my last race I did it the way my coach told me to do it.  I still came in last.

Sometimes my life feels like the 440 race.  I push off the blocks and start the race, but then I think a circumstance is not progressing like I think it should, so I take matters into my own hands disregarding the coach’s instruction.  It’s so much better when I am in the drivers seat, at least that’s what I think until everything starts to go haywire and I feel like I’m moving in slow motion getting nowhere.  Ignoring God’s warning makes a blimey mess out of everything.  Will I ever learn?

Do you ever feel like you need to be in control of a situation because results aren’t happening fast enough and think you can do a better job at it?  Yup, that’s me.

Slow and steady wins the race. – Robert Lloyd

It’s a mystery to me why I take the hard road in my life at times but by the grace of God He is still standing next to me waiting for me to say, “Okay, I flubbed up.  I’m sorry Lord, can you take over and fix my mess?”

It’s a good feeling knowing I’m a child of God who created me.  God knows every part of me and knew from the beginning what a hard head woman I would be.  I wonder how many times God shakes His head waiting patiently for me to call out for help.  He is a loving, forgiving, and patient God.

How about you?  Do you feel like the pack has moved out ahead leaving you to struggle and move at a snails pace?  Do you feel like your spiraling out of control making a mess of things?  Maybe it’s time to stop and hand it back over to Jesus, the only one who can make life right again.

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. –  Hebrews 12:12

God loves you so much.  He hates seeing you struggle.  He wants to give you guidance.  All He’s waiting for is an invitation.  So, STOP!  Reach out to Jesus and ask for help.  Be smart and listen to the coach so you can get to the finish line successfully.

Reach out to me, I would love to pray for you and encourage you.  I want to know how you are doing in your race.





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