In the photo displayed here, my daughter Samantha is on the left-hand side in third place. I am sure she saw the two runners ahead of her, but that didn’t stop her – she gave it all she had to stay in the race. With that attitude and determination, she achieved a personal best and crossed the finish line in first place. That’s right – she won! Although she has won several other races, the competition in those races wasn’t as stiff, and she didn’t need to push herself quite as hard. I know that her training in college is much more intense than it was in high school. Oh, how I remember her high school days. The very early morning work outs; the late afternoon practices in preparation for the upcoming meets and how she would warm up before a high school track meet to get ready to compete.
I also remember our mother/daughter talks when she would tell me how she would sometimes get frustrated at her performance and we would discuss, in detail, what she thought she could do better. Some days she felt that as hard as she worked and pushed herself, the outcome wasn’t in her favor. Some people would get so frustrated that the hard work and effort wasn’t panning out that they contemplated taking the easy way out and quitting. Have you ever had a moment where no matter what you did, it just didn’t seem to work out the way you hoped? I certainly have.
So, here we are at the beginning of a new year. During this time of the year many of us have made New Year’s resolutions promising to do better or be better. Some of the resolutions range from losing a few pounds to running a marathon. No matter what the resolution, a plan has to be made to meet your personal goal. Everyone is excited when the new year begins, and we are fired up and ready to go with a new-found determination to meet our goal. As the first few days or weeks go by, the energy level is at an all-time high. After a month passes the adrenaline and energy level seem to decrease. Because we feel we’ve put in so much hard work and things just aren’t looking up, we find ourselves no longer excited about the goals we’ve set. We ask ourselves, “Should we really continue down this road? or What’s in it for me?” This is a critical moment; we are so close but because it looks a little bleak we feel it’s really not worth it to continue. During this race my daughter thought, “I know it looks like I am behind in this race, but I know I have what it takes to win, and I won’t quit until I cross the finish line.” She could have easily settled for third place, but she refused to do so because she knew how much work she had put into practice each day. She wouldn’t dare allow what seemed like a failed race to overcome what she knew she could accomplish.
If you have started on your own journey to be a better you, then you have what it takes and you have come too far to turn back. Remember the old adage: “A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins…keep going because you are still in the race.” Just know that you are a winner!
“…the race is not given to the swift nor the battle to the strong” Eccl 9:11.