Did you know that race cars, when lined up closely behind one another, go faster? They do, and the reasons may or may not surprise you, but it did make me think about my own walk in faith; my own race each day. What kind of race do you want to be a part of? Me? Read on as I talk about the kind of race I want to be in. I'm hoping that you, too, want to be a part of a race such as this....
My 8 year old son LOVES Nascar. He talks about it every chance he gets. He watches Nascar documentaries and old races. He collects the cars and studies their drivers. He caught my attention on a different level when a few weeks ago he told me something about race cars that I had never heard before.
I'm no race car expert, that's for sure, so feel free to research it yourself, but what caught my attention was this: Race cars, when lined up closely behind one another, move faster. The technical word is drafting. And when two cars are only inches apart, the air actually goes over them as if they were one vehicle. This reduces resistance and enables them to move faster.
These cars are exemplifying a kind of race we are called to race in as well. Not a race where we are focusing solely on our own purposes and destination. Not a race where we are looking at our sisters next to us and comparing their faith walk to ours, comparing their gifts or talents, clothes or social status with our own. Not a race where we try to outshine the woman next to us. But rather a race that is done side by side of our sisters. One where we build them up, encourage them, strengthen them, make them "go faster". A race where, when a sister falls, we stop immediately in our tracks and help pick her back up rather than leave her in our dust. This my friend, is a race where we become one in heart, just like the early church in Acts (4:32 "all the believers were one in heart and mind).
When we are linked arm in arm, each in our determination to bring glory to God and to be the best versions of ourselves (growing in the desire to be more and more like the image of God), while at the same time desiring to help our sisters in their race just as much as our own, this is when we reflect one heart. This is when the "air" go over us together and we are able to stand against resistance, the enemy, more strongly.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Paul talks about a race in 1 Corinthians 9:24 that needs training and self-discipline. And as I read it, I reflect on "the race" Jesus himself was in.
Training. Self-discipline. Jesus knew this well. His journey exemplified endurance, perseverance, hope, and focus. His eyes may have been fixed on His purpose and the victory that was going to be won, BUT along the way, He gazed to the side (not in comparison) and saw those around Him. He stopped to touch them, to heal them. He felt them tug on Him and He didn't ignore it. He addressed them and taught them. He walked with them and discipled them. He built them up for the rest of the race.
Let the race we enter be one that demonstrates the love of Jesus. Let it be one that reflects his goodness, his willingness to lay down His life for us. One that is raced with the desire to build up others in truth and light. One that carries another when they cannot race another step, when they fall behind, or break down. One that stops to hold out a hand, to embrace, to wipe a tear. One that lovingly corrects, and puts aside our own ambition to feed another soul what they need to be fed.
A race where we love others, and are willing to sacrifice along the way. Because, with one heart, when we are the hands and feet of Jesus, we are stronger. Our light burns brighter and reaches out farther.
Race in this way. Race in love. Because in this race it is not about who crosses the finish line first, but that we finish, finish well, and that we have many sisters finish the race beside us.
Hebrews 10:24 " And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."
Wife. Mother. Writer. Photographer. Child of God. Encouraging others in faith through a lens of grace and seeing beauty in the ashes.
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