I remember the first, and only time, I ever went to a horse race and bet on a horse. I had gone with a group of friends and it being my first time at a track added to the excitement of experiencing the expedition live and in person. I had no intentions of betting going in, but when a friend offered to put $20 on a horse, and I just needed to pick the horse, I thought it would be fun! Of course, not knowing anything about horse racing to begin with, let alone THESE horses, I skimmed the pamphlet of names and waited for one to resonate with me. Then I found my horse: He’s a Little Turkey. As soon as I read his name it was settled, and I traded the twenty for a simple slip of paper that would hopefully be worth a lot more soon!
We made our way outside as the horses were squeezing into their stalls. The air was lit with anticipation. The starter’s gun sharply signaled the commencement as we all cheered and watched the horses vie for the front.
He’s a Little Turkey would live up to his name.
I noticed my horse kinda run wide on the outside first turn, which I thought was smart because the other horses crowded the inside, so it would be harder to pass. I chalked it up to my horse being smarter than the others, however, something went awry and next thing I know He’s a Little Turkey went down on the opposite end of the track. A moment or two after the upright remaining pack crossed the finish line, we watched as several people crowding around where Turkey lay. Apparently he had tripped then slipped under a chain link fence and was now pinned! Of course he was! Rumors of if he would be ok or have to be euthanized percolated through the crowd but only a short while later he was free and up on his feet. Little Turkey would live to be a little more turkey again another day!
What happens when we let the spirit of competition run wild in our life? I know several bible verses about training yourself, running your race, running to win, so I embraced the idea of running against others, instead of keeping my focus on God and what He wanted to do in me. If we aren’t competing against one another, then why all the scriptures about training to win?
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
What we are trying to win isn’t the race against each other, it’s the race against time and the enemy, Satan. We only have a certain amount of time here on earth, and God has predestined us for good work- HIS work, to do FULLY using the gifts and talents He has given us. We go a “little turkey” when we think we are in competition with those around us who are trying to do the same thing. Just like my horse that day, when we set our goal on beating a fellow competitor, most of the time we end up stumbling, falling and taking ourselves out of the race.
If we are truly set to win the race that God has set before us, then our training is going to be focused on becoming more like Christ. Encouraging others. Lifting others up. Seeing the good. Loving one another, in His name. In fact, this type of training is often more concerned with others finishing the race, more than the winning. It’s in this training that we value the presence of others next to us- each within our own lane- yet running together.
In the video today, I wanted to find a something that best showed what I believe winning the race looks like.