Race of life difficult with baggage

Perspiration trickles down their faces as the muscles in their legs begin to ache. They all gasp for air, and those cheering them on wait with great anticipation. The finish line is within their reach, but the harder they press, the more difficult finishing seems to become.

It appears as if time stands still and tomorrow will never come. They have all spent their time, talent, money and strength. While others slept, they were up toiling through the midnight hours in preparation for this very moment. However, we all know that victory takes place before the race. There were many who began the race, however not all can endure the course and finish strong.

Today, although short-term political races conclude, the unending race of life continues. We will all finish our race, but the question is how will we finish? We can learn a great deal about what to expect during the race by considering the Greek word for race, “agon” from which the English word “agony” was derived.

The race of life requires lots of discipline. There is nothing more heartbreaking and frustrating than to fall behind in the race due to a pulled hamstring. Oh, the agony that one experiences. Once you pull a hamstring, it seems like life is never the same. Anytime we feel the slightest pull we automatically recall the moment of our initial injury. Injuries are a part of life. To live is to experience pain, but to experience pain is an indication that we are still alive.

The race of life also calls for the endurance of a marathon runner. There are many fast and strong runners who have lost races. On the other hand, there are runners who have appeared slow and weak, yet they have trampled those expected to win.

What they lack in speed and strength, they make up for with courage and endurance. Although life has many unforeseen scary moments, courage is never the absence of fear. Courage is the audacity to believe in something greater than ourselves even when life seems to be telling you no.

Those who endure the trials and obstacles of the race, usually gain a different perspective on life. As we run we discover that the prize is more desirable than the pain. So we have learned to endure the temporary pain in order to attain the permanent prize. It is not that we enjoy pain, but we tolerate it in order to achieve something greater.

If we run long enough, we realize that we cannot finish the race with the same baggage we began with. So often in life we acquire things along the way only to realize that to add value to the lives of others is what fulfills us the most.

Our race is not about us, but there are others who are depending on us to finish strong. Ask yourself if you have lost your stamina or grown weary during your race? If so, regroup and replenish because it is time to regain our determination and get back in the race.

Remember, life is not a sprint, it is a marathon.