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Running the Race

June 28, 2012

“A lot of people run the race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.”
~Prefontaine

As an athlete, I have chased success. I chased it hard. I was a gym rat in high school. At midnight I was doing suicides until I couldn’t breathe. Shooting free throws when I couldn’t lift my arms. My goal, to get a college basketball scholarship.

In college, I’d run 4-6 miles, shoot hoops, lift, and then go to open gym. Every day. Trying to make myself the best I could be. Beating my body to oblivion.

After college, I didn’t know what I was going to do without team sports. I was disappointed we never won a championship. I didn’t feel complete in my athletic endeavors. I wanted more.

So, I educated myself on lifting. Trying to push myself to new physical limits. Shortly after, I tried out for the Passion and gave myself another reason to train hard. Another thing to chase.

I have played 4 seasons of college ball and 5 seasons of professional women’s football. I was never an All-American in college and I have never made the All-Star team in women’s professional football. I haven’t won a championship in either as well. And up until recently, it hurt my pride and it hurt my reasoning for playing. I played for all the wrong reasons. I wanted banners of success. I wanted the titles. Instead of playing to utilize my God given talent and bring Him glory, I wanted all the acclamations for myself.

I’ve learned and realized that chasing hardware is like chasing nothing at all. I measured success by metals, accomplishments, trophies, and awards. All that measuring made me feel like a failure.

In Ecclesiastes 4:4 it says:
“Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.”

The world tells us that unless we have the claim to fame its worth nothing.

Fame.
Titles.
Popularity.
Publicity.

We chase recognition. We compare ourselves to each other and all we do is diminish the race, the only race, worth running-this life with guts and glory for the Name above all names.

You might not relate to chasing athletic prestige, but we all have chased someone or something. We all have compared our lot with others. I once read a quote that said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Every ounce of that rings true. I compared my athleticism and gifts. I judged my success by what I accomplished compared to someone else.

True success isn’t measured in comparison games. It isn’t given at banquets. It isn’t even recognized by human eyes.

It’s seen only through the human heart.

When we reach down to pull another soul out of darkness and show them the Light, the Love and the hope that is worth ALL the guts we have to give.

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