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The Race

My little girl is a horse fanatic, so much so that she even speaks their language. She is a professional whinny-er. Horses, she says, do not say “nay.” So, while we were on vacation we thought she’d really like it if we took her to the horse races. She made sure to bring her cowgirl hat. We tried to tell her it’s not exactly a rodeo. A little different crowd at these kinds of things, but she didn’t care. In her mind…

Everyone, especially little girls, should be allowed to pet the horses, and it’s silly that it’s not just a given. All horses win. There are no losers. They run so fast and beautiful that they all should be rewarded. Even the trainer and official horses should get prizes for how good of a job they do, and how pretty they are. Black and white Pintos automatically are rated #1. The jockeys should really learn to ride better, because when they sit up like that they’re just gonna fall off easier. All betting is friendly. They should all get treats. No horse should be spanked, and finally, all horses should be allowed to get their picture taken, with all their other horse friends, in the Winner’s Circle.

In the real world, it’s hard to remember every day that we are in a race. Each step is one step closer to a finish line, but since we don’t know where or when we’ll cross that line, it’s easy to become distracted. Some of us drift, some of us stop running all together, and while some are dynamite exploding out of the gate, how many really strive with the endurance for a photo finish? Even against the odds we saw a horse come up from behind the pack, a little fella that didn’t look like he’d be a sure winner, but my oh my, did he ever finish well! He gained ground with every leap. His footing was sure, and by the time he crossed the line, he was 3 or 4 lengths ahead of all the horses who’d been picked to win. I want to be one who can run the race with that kind of focus. Every leap a sure one, every muscle focused on the next big push, not wavering to the left or right, but charged as if it’s Reveilee, awakened and set like flint to finish, and finish well.

At the end of his life, before he was martyred, Paul penned some amazing words in 2 Timothy: ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 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.’ It reminds me of my little girl’s attitude about winning. It’s not a space reserved for one. So long as we can keep the faith and cross the line, then no matter who has crossed over first, we win.

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