“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangle. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” Hebrews 12:1
I waited in anticipation for the verdict of the Olympic judges. Were they going to allow the American Women 4×100 relay team a chance to get back into the finals? The night before the exchange between Allison Felix, the third leg, and Morolake Akinoson, the anchor for the team got bobbled. Allison got bumped by the Brazilian racer in the adjacent lane. Her running cadence got pushed out of balance, and the baton went flying. Allison’s toe got caught in the track, and in an attempt to right the wrong she threw the baton at Morolake. Baton’s are meant to be passed and not tossed. Allison and Morolake watched the baton tumble to the ground and with it their hopes of back to back golds tumbled also.
But hope comes with the morning as the Olympic racing committee judges gave the four women their chance. The 4 American women lined up in their correct lanes at their correct exchange zones on a lonely Brazilian track in Olympic Stadium and waited for the starting gun. The Olympic judges gave them their chance but the women had to beat a qualifying time. They had to beat out China’s team of 42.7 seconds, which they did. They actually won the gold, running a race of 41s. It was the second fastest race ever recorded.
So why do I care about this? Because as I watched these four women bow their heads in prayer after finishing that gold medal race, I heard my Lord say, “Run like them.” I knew what He meant. I couldn’t run a physical race to save my life. I’m good for about 20 yards and its down hill after that. God was wanting me to run my spiritual race with the perseverance of these four women.
Our walk with the Lord is like their quest for gold. God wants us to run our very own race and then run that race well. We will get bumped out of our lane. We will stump our toes. We will see our batons tumble to the ground. But see these four women didn’t let all that adversity stop them from completing their race. After Allison watched the baton roll around on the track, she had the presence of mind to pick it up and put it in the hand of Morolake, then told her to run, finish this race. If they were going to have a chance at a protest, they would need to cross the finish line with baton in hand. God says, “Finish this race no matter the circumstances.”
These four women persevered. They didn’t let an ill fated bump keep them from their desired outcome. They wanted back to back gold medals. “Persevere,” the Lord tells me no matter the bumps in my lane.
There is gold and there is a crown for each of us at the end of this race. Just run the race God has called you to. Try to stay in your lane but when you get bumped pick up the baton and race on.