Finishing the Race

Last Saturday, my family went roller skating for the second time in as many months. It’s a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But this time, we got a bonus. This time, we got to see some of Copperas Cove’s finest athletic geniuses in action.

I was a little concerned when I saw Coach Tracy Welch on roller skates. He may be a great offensive coordinator for the Bulldawgs, but I didn’t see much evidence of coordination. Then again, who am I to judge? I decided to maintain a “skate and let skate” motto. But I must admit, I’m quite relieved we don’t have a Bulldawgs Roller Derby team.

My little family had a wonderful, relaxing time, with very few mishaps. After a couple of hours, I was winded. I was about to pull off my skates when the emcee announced it was “Race Time”. I watched as different age groups took turns racing around the rink. When it was time for the adult races, I happily watched from the sidelines as coaches Welch, Tracy Ranes, and Vance McAnally took the starting line alongside one other man, and a woman. I was getting ready to enjoy a great show when my daughter, Charis, tugged on my sleeve.

“Why aren’t you racing?” she asked.

“I don’t race,” I told her.

“Pleeeeeeease,” she begged.

“No,” I said.

This continued as the racers took their places. Finally, at the eleventh hour, I decided, Oh, why not? I’ll just go skate around the circle, come in last, and Charis will be happy. I skated up to the starting line just in the nick of time.

But then, when that whistle blew, something akin to testosterone took over, and I knew I had to win! I took off, full speed ahead, and skated easily into a respectable third place. Ranes was in the lead, Welch was just ahead of me, and I struggled to overtake him. I pushed forward, and passed him for second place! Then, he passed me again. I moved ahead, then Welch, and we continued this way for the remainder of the race.

In the distance, I could hear my handsome husband and my dear children cheering for me. I had to win this race, for them. We rounded the final curve. I was going to make it. I was inches from the finish line, when I took that curve a little too fast and thud! I landed on my bottom. What was that about pride going before the fall?

Welch must have wanted to win pretty badly to have pushed me like that. (Just kidding. I fell all by myself.) The other skaters passed me, and I picked myself up, laughing, and left the floor.

Congratulations, coaches. You beat a girl. Aren’t you proud? (Insert smiley face here.)

It wasn’t until later, when asked where I placed in the race, that I realized I hadn’t placed at all. I quit.

So close, yet so far.

Now, I’m not ashamed one bit that I didn’t finish that particular roller skating race. I had a bruised backside and a bruised ego. Besides that, it gave me something to write about this week. And, I had fun.

But when it comes to the race called life, I don’t want to be a quitter. I don’t want to say, “So close, yet so far.” I want to keep going, I want to persevere, and even if I come in dead last, I want to finish this race with my head held high.

Sometimes, life throws an unexpected curve, and we fall down. Sometimes, we are even pushed. When that happens, it’s tempting to just give up. But at the end of it all, nobody is really keeping score. At the end of it all, what really matters is that we did our best, that we kept our faith, and that we finished the race.

We must never forget – there is One who is cheering us on. He created each of us for this race, and if we let Him, He will help us cross the finish line. And when we do, He will present us with a victor’s crown. For after all, in life, it’s not about who gets there first.

It’s about finishing the race.

Acts 20:24 “…if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord
Jesus has given me.”

5 Responses to Finishing the Race

  1. April 6, 2008 #

    Will we be seeing you in the Olympics this year?

  2. April 6, 2008 #

    I don’t know . . . do they have a “comic relief” category? 🙂

  3. April 7, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    I’ve read your blogs and had a good giggle.
    I like it when people don’t take themselves too seriously.
    I also find you sporty and brave to take up such a race.
    Bet you have made your family proud as well!
    If you were Norwegian I would cry out a loud HEYAH!
    From Felisol

  4. April 11, 2008 #

    Love this story, Renae! You know, in the dog dealings lately (of which you know since you popped by today), there must be a lesson in it. Perhaps it is as simple as not pushing for what I want, because my husband did not want a Yorkie. Two other times I insisted on what I wanted: the Windstar was a lemon, and our current washer/dryer set (front loaders from Whirlpool – usually the envy of many launderers) have had various, ridiculous issues. I should have known the dog was going to be a lemon of sorts as well.

    But, she’s so cute!

    I’ll keep trekkin’ in the race, too. Knowing there are other lovely ladies, as yourself (and MOTL)in the race, I’m starting to grin and move at a more respectable pace. I’m in! God bless you.

  5. April 25, 2008 #

    Thanks, Felisol! I think I may have a little Norwegian blood in me way back there somewhere. Does that count? 🙂

    And Sara, You’re right. There are a lot of bumps in the road in this race. But keep going! I’ll see you at the finish line, okay? 🙂


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