Running the race

The story below is quoted from Inspiration from Tanzania.

“I just recently heard the story of Tanzanian Olympic marathon running John Stephen Ahkwari.  While competing in the 1968 marathon he fell early in the race and was injured, ending any hopes you might have of winning.  After his leg was bandaged he stood up and continued to limp along the race route.  After all the other contestants had completed the race in the Olympic stadium the marathon was officially over and the track was opened up for other races.

But Ahkwari didn’t give up.  He continued to struggle on well after the race was over.  He arrived at the stadium over an hour after it had ended, but the attendees were inspired by Ahkwari.  The track was closed down and Ahkwari limped by thousands of cheering fans.

When asked why Ahkwari continued on well after the race was over he responded. ‘You don’t understand.  My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start a race, they sent me to finish it.'”

Has anybody ever told you that “life is a race”? Yet if it’s a race, what kind of race do you want to participate in? What’s waiting on your finish line?

And if there’s a race, there’s also competition. How we as humans love that word. Everything in this world is a competition. Even to be born, we compete with other sperms and eggs. To survive, we compete with others for food and shelter. To get good results, we compete with our friends. To get a partner, we compete with a dozen other boys or girls to get a right one. And when all is said and done, we compete with ourselves to be better.

Some people live for wealth, some people seek happiness. Others want to live an ordinary live, others want their names to be remembered through the ages.

If life is a competition, there is the right one, and there’s the wrong one. The question is, what is the right competition of life?

Back in high school I always compete with my friends for getting good grades. Now when I no longer have that high ‘sense of competition’ for grades, I invent something else. Even unconsciously, when I read other people’s blogs, sometimes I put them on a balance scale, searching for the number of hits and comparing them to mine. Wrong? Or normal?

Competition is the nature of life, isn’t it? Even for natural selection, living organisms compete with each other to make sure their species will be able to live.

So what’s been waiting in your finish line? Honour? Immortality? Love? Happiness? Life?

Even though we can’t escape life without competing, I guess it all falls back to what kind of race do you want to participate in, and your efforts in finishing one. Remember, starting a race is easy, finishing it with dignity is another story.

“I do not say that I have already won the race or have already reached perfection. But I am pressing on, striving to lay hold of the prize for which also Christ has laid hold of me.”
Phillipians 3:12

“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


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