Life Is A Race

Life is a race. Not a competitive race. Everyone's life is just a different race.

Our race may change course, there may be obstacles we must overcome, but if we keep our eyes on the Lord, we will reach our finish line and receive our prize. It is not always about the finish line, though. The journey is just as important. We need to make sure we don't miss something along the way while keeping our eyes on the prize.

Because I am a Christian and an athlete, this analogy is easy for me to see. Why do I race? Not to win (otherwise I would have given up long ago), but because it is a personal challenge. I'm a woman wearing so many hats -- wife, mother, Sunday School teacher, school volunteer, soccer mom -- juggling life's joys and frustrations. Talk about personal challenges! I hope to use this blog as an outlet for my frustrations and a proclamation of my joys as I tackle all the challenges I face in life.

One of my favorite Bible verses that helps me get through the hard times and relates to racing is also imprinted on my Road ID:

But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Monday, September 20, 2010

Be Careful What You Pray For

Well, it has been quite a while since I blogged. Life has been a bit crazy with my peak weeks of training for my Half-Ironman, school starting, soccer season starting, and other random things that just need to get done. I just completed my peak week of training, so it's downhill from here. This isn't going to be my most inspiring blog (because my body and brain are really tired), but it's just something that's been on my mind the past few days.

Be careful what you pray for. We hear this all the time. We may pray for something and get not what we expect. We will pray for patience, then God sends us LOTS of situations to test our patience. We may pray for wisdom, then God sends of lots of important decisions to make. The list goes on and on. He answers our prayers, but not always in the way we think they should be answered. Sometimes, we need to be more specific about what we are asking. That doesn't mean we'll then get the answer we want, but it is more likely that his answer will match up to what we really had in mind. It's not that God doesn't already know what we are asking, but he really wants us to figure it out and ask for it. It's like when I see my son figure something out all on his own. What joy that brings me!

I want to back up to Labor Day. I had an Olympic distance triathlon that day. I'd been having issues with my bike. Last year, I got a flat in that same race and it was miserably hot. That was not a good race. It is my favorite race, though. I wanted to have a good race, so I prayed.

I pray I don't get a flat.
I pray my bike doesn't act up too much.
I pray for a good run.
I pray for cool weather.

God answered all of those prayers. First, I did not get a flat, though I checked my tires several times before leaving transition. Second, my bike had a few issues, but it worked well enough to get through the race. The best part was that this week, I got it fixed, and it didn't cost me anything! That's another story, though. Third, I had a great run! My best yet in that race! Last, it wasn't miserably hot, BUT that's because it rained! God, are you kidding me? Do you think this is funny? Boy do you have a sense of humor. It started to really rain halfway through my swim. When I got to transition, it was dying down, but the roads were REALLY wet. My bike time wasn't as fast as I'd like, but I was still happy with my performance given the conditions. I did not want to fall on the bike. That was the prayer I kept repeating while riding. Don't let me fall, Lord! God came through once again. I came through the bike portion with flying colors, though a tad slower than if the roads had been dry.

I'm participating in a Bible Study currently by Priscilla Shirer called "Can We Talk?" I like it because it really gets me to focus on a particular scripture and talk to God about that scripture and how it relates to ME. Of course, I do that, but not always in this way, and I don't always come out of it with a very specific prayer. Obviously, for this race, I had very specific prayers. God did answer them all, though one of them not quite the way I expected. I didn't even think to pray for no rain, as there was only a 10% chance! My prayers are not always that specific, though, especially when I'm asking God to change me in some way. I have a hard time focusing on a particular trait or habit I need to change. I also sometimes have a hard time pulling those out of scripture.

So, this week we are focusing on the tongue. I know there are some things I need to work on there! I now have specific behaviors I am asking God to change in me. I realize God may still send me situations to test these changes, but I feel I'll be more equipped to handle them.