Do you know that God has set before you a particular race to run? It is not a physical race but a spiritual one. This has to do with the divine destiny He has planned for you to fulfill. Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV) says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
It is God who sets this race for each of us and expects us, like a runner, to focus on our race and aim at the finish line. 2 Timothy 4:7 says that you are not just to run the race but you are to finish it. This reminds me of the longest race, called cross-country race, we ran in our secondary school, DGMS, Onitsha, Anambra State. We started from the football field and ran for miles through bushy tracks and passing through foot bridges in swampy areas of Onitsha. It took some hours, and at the end, winners were declared. One year I was very exhausted and did not finish the race but stopped midway and returned when most of the students had celebrated the winners and left the field.
In this race of life, God has set a different course for every individual. You are to run your own and not another person’s race. However much you love another person, you cannot help him or her to run their race. A father cannot run the race for his child. It is a strictly personal quest. In running this race, you are fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for your individual life. We are all unique individuals running unique races of life.
Life’s race is not actually a competition with any other person. You do not compare yourself with another person. Instead, you compare yourself with yourself. You keep asking yourself whether or not you are doing what God wants you to do. Are you where God wants you to be? 2 Corinthians 10:12 (NKJV) says, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
Moreover, in this life’s race, when God is leading you, the way will open for you. He will direct you through the right paths and open the right doors for you, while closing the wrong ones. He promises in Psalm 32:8 (NLT), “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life, I will advise you and watch over you.”
Stephen R. Covey rightly says, “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to wrong place faster.” You may be moving ahead in your life but in a way that is not getting you to where you should be going. It is therefore vital to keep asking in the course of your life: Is my ladder resting on the right wall?
You need God’s wisdom to answer this question. You cannot have the correct answer by examining your circumstances or seeking opinions from your friends or relations because they did not set the race for you. The correct answer must be from God, who determines the race for every person. Ask God about every step you want to take before taking it.
Proverbs 16:9 NKJV says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” If God directs your steps He will always open the right doors for you. The right door leads to blessing but the wrong doors lead to pain, sorrow and losses. Don’t be like some foolish people who continue to climb the ladder of life, only to finally discover that the ladder was resting on the wrong wall. At the end of a wasted life, you may not be able to start again and finish the race.
In earthly competitions, there are always awards and prizes for those who have won. International sports people at the Olympic Games aspire to obtain the medals or laurels. Prize-giving ceremonies of schools and universities are always exciting moments to remember. The award winners make their parents and relations proud.
Can you imagine the rewards for those who successfully reach the finish line in this race of life? I Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV) says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
We all are in this race, our prayer is that we will end it in God’s hand