The race is on. As of this writing, the seventh Vendee Globe is in it’s 62nd day. The Vendee Globe is the extreme Olympics of sailing. Twenty captains set out from France in specially designed 60-foot yachts to circumnavigate the globe. It’s 27,000 miles—singlehanded and non-stop.
Battling wind, waves, ice, freezing conditions and fatigue, they must remain vigilant in their pursuit of the Vendee prize.
And so it is with our race as well. The apostle Paul reminded us that we are to run our race “in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Cor 9:24). How we run is as important as that we run.
As you run your race this year, there are three truths to remember that can have a huge effect on the outcome. These truths are summarize below and presented in full living color in the presentation that follows:
- God gifts us. This seems like a rather obvious truth that doesn’t need to even be mentioned. We are His creations after all. Yet, how often do we find ourselves envious of another’s accomplishments or talents? We might even get angry at God thinking that it’s unfair that others advance when we get left behind. And we go off-course thinking there must be some short-cut to get us there faster. Instead, the sure sign that we know we’re running our race in such a way as to receive the prize is when we practice gratitude. An attitude of thanksgiving is the natural response to the truth that God’s has uniquely gifted each of us.
- God guards us. The Vendee skippers have years of experience handling their vessels in a variety of conditions. The variety creates excitement. They know the tolerances of their vessel and limits of their know-how. But when those tolerances are exceeded, when the hull is breached, for instance, excitement can quickly turn to fear. Their “protective frame,” as psychologists call it, has been destroyed. As Christians, we have a protective frame that cannot suffer damage. That’s why God says “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). When we forget that God guards us, we become fearful and unwilling to move outside our comfort zone. To run as if to win the prize means we can be at peace, even when the storms of life rage around us.
- God guides us. The third truth that affects how we run the race is that God is at work in us, moving us along even at times when we’re not certain of His presence in our lives. We are to live by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). And since He’s guarding the gifts He invested in each of us, our job is to do the very best with the best that’s in us.
In the video below, I outline these principles in more detail. This message was delivered at Berean Baptist Church as part of their worship services on December 30, 2012.
What are some truths that help you run your race?