A race teaches you a lot. You learn about your physical, mental, and emotional strength. Some races require teamwork. Solomon wrote about the need we all have for that companionship on our journey of life.
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Recently, I ran in a Tough Mudder challenge. Here are 6 lessons that I learned from the race that I believe apply to your life.
1. Start with energy
At the beginning, everybody was pumped! Some runners were beating their chests, some were jumping up and down, and others were aggressively high-fiving their teammates. Emotions and ambition is good! They get you started with energy and drive you for that high-octane start.
Hebrews 12:1-2 “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…”
2. Set the right pace
Everybody runs the race at their own speed. Burning yourself out trying to keep up with somebody else’s pace doesn’t help you or anyone else. Dave Ramsey says, “We live in a culture full of hares; but the tortoise always wins.” Go at the speed that works for you. You were made in a specific way by the Almighty God.
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14
3. See the obstacles
My friend took a giant leap into one of the mud pits but when he landed his right shoe got sucked into the mud. He yanked his leg out but his shoe remained swallowed in the mud, he struggled with it for a few minutes then he got up and ran the rest of the 8 miles without shoes on!
You can’t always tell what obstacles in your life are going to cause you problems. But do your best to not lose your shoes along the way. Look ahead, plan, and tie your shoes a little tighter.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
4. Submit to correction
While running from one obstacle to another, my teammate and I missed a very important sign telling us to go right. Somebody from another group shouted at us, “Hey! You’re going the wrong way!” We ran roughly the length of 2 football fields to get back on the right path. If we hadn’t listened, we’d still be running the wrong way!
When someone cares enough about you to correct you, take the time to listen and do something about it. “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; Neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; Even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Proverbs 3:11-12
5. Serve others along the way
Sometimes while overcoming obstacles, we had to help out our other teammates. We’d have to lock arms or carry them on our backs. This caused us to slow down and deal with some extra pain at times but it’s required for the journey. Sometimes serving them simply meant shouting some encouragement as they worked through a difficult area of the course.
“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”Galatians 6:10
6. Finish strong
Ending with your teammates will compound your enjoyment. The joy and exhilaration of finishing together takes your emotions through the roof! The smiles, the laughter, and the memories shared make the journey so wonderful. Fred Lebow, co-founder of the New York City marathon said, “It doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” John 4:34