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I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. II Timothy 4:7

We are all running a race – it’s called life. What elements help you through that tough “middle” of the journey? Is your life focus people or possessions?

The Race: Getting In

Running track in high school provided some of the most important life lessons I can remember. Entering was easy, especially when the actual event was days away. The closer the start, the more I became anxious, even to the point of throwing up at times.

The Dip in the Middle

Once the gun went off it became more of a mental battle than a physical one for me. I remember at times, toward the middle of  the course, I would enter the dip, the point where I wanted to quit. My mind would look for just about any reason to come up lame. Even if I was in front at the time, the effort to stay there seemed overwhelming to me.

The Finish

As I got closer to the finish line, I would begin to reach a point which I called breakthrough, the adrenaline would kick in, my breathing would even out, and to a certain degree, the muscle pain would lesson.  Finishing became the only thing. Quitting because of the mental battle going on in my mind was no longer an option. I remember the relief of crossing the finish line, victorious or not. To me, finishing bought great satisfaction even if I did not come across first. I always knew I did my best, and for a short moment I would actually look forward to the next time.

The Life Race

Any race worth running has three distinct parts to it. The beginning, the middle and the end. The beginning and the end are very important and are critical elements. But for me, the middle is where I struggle the most. Life is like a race, and a life well lived can look vastly different from individual to individual. Our choices define why I am running, and the track I am on. It is important that I run on the right track.  If I’m not, I know that “middle” will destroy me and the end will feel hollow and unfulfilling.

Lessons from High School Track

I have learned that I am running the right race when I sense more people than things in my life. I find that middle dip is easier to get through when relationships are central and not just material possessions. My track experience applied to life would look like this:

Race + God/People/Relationships = Greatest Satisfaction

Race + Material Possessions = Hollow and Unfulfilling

What do you race for or with? Find your race and run with all your heart and soul!

Large family lined up for "crazy photo" at their family reunion.
This is just part of the tribe that helps me through that tough middle part… (Humor helps.)

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