Winning the Race
The first question you have to ask when thinking about winning the race is what race do you want to win? A lot of people are running hard. They call it the rat race for a reason because even if you get to the end, you get a bit of cheese and then tomorrow, you have to do it again and then again the next day. We never really get ahead, do we? So, what race are you trying to win? Also, who are you running with? The race of life isn’t an easy one. We typically don’t think of life as a race, but everything is when you think about it. They are not all sprints. In fact, most of them are more of a marathon, but they are all races. We run a race to get a diploma, get married, have kids, or even stay healthy. We race against others to win the starting position on a sports team or first chair in the band or even to get that table in the restaurant after church without waiting. All of life is a race and most of it is against ourselves. Are you running your race to win? Winning the Race is important. You have to be willing to stick to it to win though. So, Quit Quitting!!
Winning the Race – Thoroughbred/Quarterhorse vs Old Mare
The reason for this topic came about because, as I thought about it while watching The Kentucky Derby a couple of weekends ago, I remembered what an old boss of mine said one time. We had an office full of Engineers. He asked me if I was a thoroughbred/quarterhorse or an old mare? I remember looking at him and thinking, how do I answer that? He then laughed and said, hopefully you’re a bit of both. An old mare is going to have lasting power. She isn’t going to win a lot of races, but she will have perseverance and eventually she will get you to the finish line. She will be dependable and not cause you a lot of problems but won’t be the fastest thing in the world. The thoroughbred/quarterhorse on the other hand, will win you a lot of races. But, you are going to get kicked, bit, thrown and generally you’ll have to put up with a lot of crap handling them. They also need special attention and constant training to perform at peak efficiency. The other problem with them is their longevity on the track is relatively brief. They run for a couple of years and then they go out to pasture and are used for breeding if they are lucky. Otherwise, it’s off to the glue factory. So, basically what he was telling me was, I need to be able to run hard and run fast while having the sticking power to never give up and get across the finish line, no matter what.
This kind of played out when Orb, the favorite for The Kentucky Derby, had a stall kicking incident prior to the race. Orb was fine and went on to win, but, many other horses don’t fare as well. The horses are wound so tight, they have to have an escort horse to get them into the starting gates to keep them calm and guide them in. But when that gate flies open, they are running like the wind. On the other side, if there was an old mare out there, she would not kick the stall or bite or need an escort and she will eventually get there. Winning the Race may not be as important to the old mare, and she will finish the race, but she won’t finish first. Her race is against herself. It’s kind of like the tortoise and the hare story.
Winning the Race – Just Keep Running!!
As my old boss said, when you are running and thinking about Winning the Race, you want to be a little of the old mare and a little of the thoroughbred/quarterhorse. Those horses that run the Kentucky Derby don’t go at an all out sprint the entire race. It’s similar to a mile race for a human. The Jockeys have to know their horse and how hard they can push them. They have to know if they are a good finisher or a good starter. Orb was out of the gate fast but the horses up front were setting a blistering pace and the Jockey held Orb back. Winning the Race looked to be out of the picture as Orb was in the back of the pack on a muddy track until coming around the last turn. That is when the Jockey started to urge Orb on. Then, one by one, Orb started passing those horses until finally he stretched it out and won in a very dramatic race. It was the first Kentucky Derby win for his trainer as well and he had been trying to win the Derby for YEARS. Winning the Race became an obsession for the owner, the Jockey and the Trainer and they pulled it off. So, from the back of the pack to the front and never giving up. You have to keep running. NEVER EVER give up.
So, what is your race? Is it your career, school, fitness, nutrition, or just life? You will win if you never give up. The journey is as important, in many cases, as the win. I heard someone not long ago say, “Strive to become a millionaire, not for the money, but because of what and who you will become as you strive to get there”. If it looks like you’re losing, remember, the race isn’t over ’til it’s over, much like a baseball game. In the game of life, Paul said it best:
2 Timothy 4:6-8
New International Version (NIV)
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Run your race with perseverance. NEVER EVER give up!!! Quit Quitting!!