Recently, I made a goal to run three miles around my house. To me, that was more than I could physically do at the time. However, I decided that if I practiced, I would eventually build up the endurance to run a full three miles. I set a destination, and started on my journey. I walked a little bit to warm up, but then I started to run.
When I go running, the journey is not always smooth. Sometimes, I step on a twig and it offsets my balance. Sometimes, when it’s raining, I may hit a puddle and get water all over my legs. Sometimes, a car cuts in front of me, and I have to stop what I am doing and wait for the driver to move.
That day, it was hot, sunny, and crowded. I had picked a part of the day where many people usually go out and run errands. I focused on dodging the cars, and it limited my ability to run to my full potential. I had to stop at a stop light in order to cross the street. Of course, my fatigue also kicked in, so I was very distracted.
When I got to a certain point on this journey, I slowed down and started walking. I congratulated myself for running as far as I did. I continued to walk in order to regain my strength. By the time I had reached a certain point, I had enough energy to run the rest of the way home.
At home, I checked how many miles I had run. According to my map, I had run 2.39 miles, much more than I thought I could run! I could not believe how far I had come. Suddenly, my fatigue and my dodging of cars no longer mattered. I had come very close to my goal. I told everyone about my personal victory.
As I am running this race called life, my goal is to finish the distance that has been set before me. However, I sometimes trip on a rock and fall flat on my face. I make mistakes, and I feel the weight of my imperfections. When this happens, I have two options. I could either let this failure stop me from trying to finish, or I could get back up and try again.
In the past, my failures have crippled me. My mistakes have caused me to forget that I am running a race, not trying to avoid getting hurt. However, sometimes now I look back and see how far I have come. Focusing on my victories rather than my failures has actually helped me to keep going.
There are lots of distractions when running a race. You may be running behind someone, not able to catch up. You may trip on your shoelace or an acorn could fall on your head. You may be tempted to take a water break…and not want to try again.
But let me encourage you by telling you that it is never too late to get back into the race and try again.
If you’re running a race, and you trip on your shoelace, keep running. Your goal is to win the race, not run without falling. When you win, no one will remember your failures; they will only see that medal around your neck and know you are a champion.
Do not forget your destination. Your mistakes may tempt to distract you, but do not let them stop you from finishing what you started.