It was my school’s inter-house sport this last Wednesday and the gallant Corper Tolu put in for the staff race. Believe me, I was too scared at the start measuring my physical qualities with those other Corpers and young teachers that I was in a context with. I told everyone that I don’t want to participate in the race, but I don’t know what pushed me. I raced down the track to take my position on track 3. Actually in-between 2 and 3 as there were more teachers to the available 6 tracks at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan where the inter-house sport held.
Let me give a little background before I continue… A little rained threaten few minutes before the male staff race was held wetting the ground, and I ran the race barefooted. Alright, having said that.
When the sound of the whistle blasted, I took off like a hungry cheetah for his prey, and to my shocking surprise. I was trailing at the 2nd place as against trailing at the tail as I expected. So I pushed harder contending with a huge and way taller guy trying to catch up right behind me.
The first mishap was stepping on a kind of wet and slippery surface where I lost a little of my balance, but I didn’t let that stop my pursuit of the finish line. I was motivated by knowing that there will be a gift for the first 3 positions coupled with a certificate and also, I wanted to have a story to grace my service year. One that will go like this, “While on my youth service, I participated in my school’s staff race during our inter-house sport where I finished as the first, second or third position”. Call it my ego, but good for me, that dream was becoming a reality.
To cut the chase, the law of gravity decided to kill my dream, I didn’t know how it happened, but I just knew of an instance that I was heading for the asphalt finished race course, and yes, down I went and slid a couple of feet like a soccer player celebrating a goal, at that instance, a hundred though flashed my mind.
“I am not going to win this race, I was already in the second position with a good chance of catching up with the first, my student is going to make a jest of me, OMG, I hope I don’t sustain any injury…..”, those were just a few of my thoughts. Then I heard the announcer say…”Ohh…that was a hard fall…and he was in a good position of winning this race”, but I never won it. That was where I am headed, “I never won even though I had a good chance”. Before I get to the point.
I picked myself up, and limped to the finish line, behind every other teacher that were previously dragging behind me. I discovered that a couple of places on my body hurts just to discover that I have been bruised in 5 different spots, not counting the hard impact with the ground. Poor me, still suffering from injuries at the moment.
You have never won a race until after you have won the race. That is exactly the purpose of this post. We hail ourselves and consider ourselves victors or winners, while the race is still sometimes, maybe because we are ahead of the others, you have achieved what the people in your age bracket are yet to achieve, you control a measure of authority or resources that qualify you to be termed affluent, you have everything going just as you’ll want it, please, before you go over your head blowing your own horn, celebrating success before the race is over you might, counting your spoils before winning the war, you might want to take wisdom from this wise man.
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. (Philip 3:12-14 (NLT)
I hope you took note of this line “I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead”.
You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line (So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step). I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. (1 Cor 9:24-27 (MSG))
We can’t allow ourselves to be distracted while the race is still on. Finish the race first. Remember, it’s not over until it’s over.
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