Monday, November 14, 2011

Competing for Christ

That's the motto for Team FCA Endurance. I've thought about it some, and I wasn't sure it really fit for me. I do my best not to compete with anyone but myself. Sometimes that is easier said that done, but I still try to keep it in perspective. Something about the word compete seems divisive to me. You know that moment in a race where you see someone up ahead that you might like to pass? You feel a push to speed up and a slight little rush of adrenaline. If it is someone you don't know, that may last for a few seconds and then back to normal. When it is someone you know, that changes things a bit.  The thought of blowing by an acquaintance during the last mile of a race isn't my idea of winning. A knockdown, drag-out racing session with anyone during the last mile or less of a longer race isn't something I want.

I recently found myself in this exact situation. I could see someone up ahead, and the finish line was a couple of miles away. I could feel myself pushing to speed up. My only goal during the race was to keep a particular pace, and I was right on track. I was trying my best not to let the push to compete affect my actions. I didn't want to to slow down because then I was altering my actions, and I might miss my goal that I made in vacuum of outside influence. I also didn't want to speed up to pass because that had negative consequences as well. I did my best to hold steady as I pondered the situation. I didn't like the negative feelings associated with either of my choices so I asked God to let me run the last mile of the race in a way that would glorify him and not me. As I caught up to the other runner who had been speeding up (it was toward toward the end of the race, after all), I spoke. What came out of my mouth was "Let's finish this together." Those words completely changed everything. We ran together for a short while, and I mentioned my goal pace. She told me to go ahead and began to slow a little. I asked her to run with me. She said she had already made her goal and insisted that I go and keep my goal. All negativity had faded away, and we finished within a few seconds of one another.

In the end, it seems I was competing for Christ. It had nothing to do with competing with anyone else. There was nothing divisive about it. I am thankful for the experience.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, and talking about your faith in God. I'm not sure I agree - I think I should always do my best and would expect others to do the same, but I appreciate your perspective.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Glenn. Competing certainly has benefits. In this particular instance, I was not trying to PR at any point during the event. It was an event to get in some miles and hold a certain pace as I have a marathon coming up this weekend. I am by no means advocating that a person should not do his/her best. I think we should always seek to do the best we can, but I think it is important to figure out what our best is that day based on the big picture.