This past weekend, I had a wonderful experience running in the Texas State Senior Games. The weather was perfect - sunny, little wind, and about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. My only concern was I have experienced a little bit of asthma over the past few weeks.
I told a friend before I ran, "I'll just do my best and it will be what it will be." That's the same attitude that I've taken in ministry. My part is to give it my best effort. The rest is in God's hands. If there are many people who respond to my message, that's wonderful. If there are only a few who respond, or if no one responds, that's also wonderful - as long as I gave it my best effort and trusted God with the results.
I found myself pretty nervous as I came to the starting line to run the 400 meters. I was the new "old" kid in the neighborhood. The others in my age division (60 - 64) were seasoned 400 meters runners.
I started well. By the time I had finished the first straightway, I had passed all the other runners with the exception of one. I passed him in the last curve. But my form began to break down. My muscles began to ache. I could hear the guy right behind me. He was trying to catch me and overtake me. It hurt, but I knew that I had to give it everything. I did, surprising everyone, especially me. I won the gold.
The guy who came in third place came up to me afterwards and said, "I haven't seen you at any of the races before." I told him that this was my first time to run in the state championships, but that I ran in a meet in San Antonio last March. He replied, "I won the silver medal in that meet. I didn't see you there." Laughing, I told him, "That's because I was so far behind you. I came in fifth place in that meet. I was just beginning to run the 400 meters."
"Wow," he said. "You have really improved."
I walked away with a deep sense of satisfaction, not because I won the gold. I knew that I prepared for several months, training daily. I then ran the race to my full potential. What my potential was last March wasn't the same as this past weekend.
I then begin to think about life. Many people have run good races, but they are satisfied with where they were "last March." They never become champions in life because they are stuck in a comfort zone. It's become easy to run life at a certain pace, and they never take it to the next level.
If you're going to be a champion, you can't stay where you were last year in your walk with God. You must train in His kingdom and follow His principles. You will find yourself the next year more like Jesus than you have ever been. You'll be on the road towards winning the gold. You'll run like a champion.