by: Lisa Petrarca
The first race was about to start, Elijah was to run the 400 Meter event (1 complete sprint around the entire track). Immediately following his race he had to line up for his 200 Meter event. He would have no time to rest in between.
In prior years, he trained rigorously to prepare for all of his meets. This training is what enabled him to be so successful. Capturing the Southern CA Championship Gold medal year after year. This year has been quite different. He had become used to winning with such ease, that whenever he was asked to start training, he would reply, "Let's start next week". Week after week went by without any training. Before he knew it the season was upon him. He had run out of time.
The 400 Meter race began, he pulled out way ahead immediately. As he rounded the last turn and was running down the final stretch, his legs began to tighten, his head bobbed forward and back trying to propel himself across the finish line. The other racers started to inch closer. Willing himself across the finish line he captured first place. However not with the ease of prior years.
He headed over to line up for the 200 Meter race and collapsed on the ground trying to stretch out his cramping, ill prepared muscles. He wondered how he could run another race when he was barely able to stand. He slowly got into position knowing that this race wouldn't end as well.
The gun sounded and he was able to stay neck and neck with the top two racers until the last 100 meters. They darted ahead as his legs were moving but felt like 100 pound weights. He crossed the finish line in 3rd place. Disappointed but knowing that his lack of preparation had put him in this position.
We all need to prepare for the events in our life. Most people are aware of this no matter what sport they play...practice and preparation is ALWAYS needed. Unfortunately, like Elijah, we are ill prepared for the race that God has planned for us.
He has set up practice times (daily prayer and scripture reading), teaching us how to become closer, trust, have complete faith, inner strength and peace through him. This prepares us for the big event or GAME DAY. When he puts us on that track, field, or court of life. When we are to become the person that God has been preparing us to be. Don't waste your practice time! Will you be ready and strong enough to win the race for which God has called you?
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24,25
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.. Hebrews 12:1