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RACE DAY – Mar. 29

March 29, 2014

““Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

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It is race day.

I love race day, but I sort of hate it at the same time. My sleep was restless and I awoke early with a stomach filled with a cocktail of excitement and anxiety that coffee did not settle. I am competing in my first cycling race. I have competed in triathlons before but this is my first race just on the bike and it is a USA Cycling sanctioned stage race on top of that.

A stage race is actually three races. Today, we will compete in a time trial and a criterium. Then tomorrow, we will finish up the stages with a road race.  I have never done any of them, so this will be a new experience.

The Tour of Gippsland – a stage race in Austra...

I don’t know why I get all amped up for race day. My brain tells me that it doesn’t really matter. I am a category 5 rider. That is the lowest of categories reserved for those who have never raced before. I am racing in the 45+ Master’s age group and I am in the “B” group on top of that; the “A” group is better. In the whole scope of the world, this race does not matter at all – just because it does not matter.

However, I am still excited for it. I want to do well. I want to be competitive. I don’t want to stink.

A strange thing happens when something you have done a hundred times becomes a race. Maybe, the fact that a race counts, changes things regardless of whether it matters or not.

It is expected to casually pedal along on an leisure ride … it is not a race.
It is understandable not to empty the tank in training … it is not a race.
It is easy to be content with breaking personal records … it is not a race.

That all changes when it becomes a race.

I have no idea how I am going to fair over the next two days. I have silly day-dreams of standing on the podium. I fight the dread of my best being crushed by  “real” cyclists.  My brain tells me that I will probably finish where I normally do, right in the meat of average, but I will never know until I race.

Racing forces the competitors to face the choice.
Am I going to go after the silly day-dream and compete
or
am I going to succumb to the dread and never try?

The Amgen Tour of California pro cycling race ...

I love to race great because it makes things count. There is a marker that is planted at the completion of a race. It still may not matter, but it counts.

Paul encouraged the Corinthians to treat life like a race. He encouraged them to put aside any dread of failure and go after the hope of standing on the podium and receiving the prize. It is so easy to live our lives like we are on a leisurely ride, just training, or in the solitude of personal achievement.

We are to live life like a race.

That means awaking every morning with a mixture of excitement and anxiety because the day before us counts. Only, our days count and matter.

How we respond to our spouse counts…because it is a race.
How we interact with our kids counts … because it is a race.
How we do business counts … because it is a race.
How we spend our time and money counts … because it is a race.
How we pray counts … because it is a race.
How we reflect the fruits of the Spirit counts … because it is a race.
How we glorify God counts … because it is a race.

We should all be striving for the prize of hearing our Father in heaven saying “well done, good and faithful servant”.  That prize comes by living life like the race that it is.

PRAYER: Father, thank you for the ability to race.  Be with me today, keep me safe and help me to do my best. More importantly, grant me the excitement that I feel today about racing to me for every day.  Lord, I want to live like my life counts.  I want to embrace the hope of obtaining the prize.  Grant me a spirit to race my life well.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

 

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7 comments

  1. […] my last post (Race Day), I was in the midst of pre-race excitement and the unknown of never having competed in a cycling […]


  2. Great analogy and post.


  3. Reblogged this on SpeakListenPrayDon'tBeStupid and commented:
    The Race, your Race. From A Devoted Life


  4. You have brought a wonderful treasure of scripture, and shown how it is very much real in your individual life, and mine, and the lives of others. I would like to reblog this on my SpeakListenPrayDontBeStupid blog. Is that alright?


    • Thanks for the kind words. Please feel free to reblog. I would be greatly appreciated.


  5. God bless you today as you race.


  6. Whoa! I get exhausted just realizing that everything is a race. I guess you’re’ right though. That must be why, no matter how hard we try to get our lives under control, we remain forever too busy.



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