Monday, January 30, 2012

On Your Mark...Get Set...Go!


Well, here we are...the first month of a new year! It’s a new beginning with a fresh start.
The race of 2011 is over. You have crossed the finish line.

Every finish line, however, is the beginning of a new race.
When I was a child
, I remember with every race I ran during recess or in P.E., there was a 3-part command to start it. And oh how my heart would “race” as I heard: On your Mark...Get Set...Go! With each part of this command I felt the rush of adrenaline. I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, am I where I’m suppose to be, am I paying attention...don’t be slow to start, but don’t jump the gun... be ready, but don’t move a muscle until you hear the word ...Go!”

On Your Mark...

When you are about to begin a race, you want to have your toe on the mark, which is drawn on the ground to signify the beginning of a race. The mark is the starting point. You are to position yourself at the starting point. But in order to position yourself, you have to look for the mark, find your spot and then put yourself on it! To find your mark you have to act prepared, be prepared, and go prepared! Are you ready for the next race? It doesn’t matter what happened in the past race because it is over, finished, completed. You now have to focus on what is ahead of you, which is your new race. This race will come with its own challenges such as steep inclines, sharp turns, and unforeseen obstacles. Are you prepared? Did you learn lessons in the past race that can benefit you in the new one? Where you finished in the last race doesn’t matter at all. It’s a brand new game. Anything can happen. What matters now is that you put the past behind you and position yourself at the starting point. Do you know your mark? Can you find your mark? Is your toe on your mark waiting for what is to come? Then...

Get Set...

Now that you have your toe on the mark, you must get set. You are situated in your position fixed and unmoving, determined and equipped, ready to Go! There is a plan in place with a purpose for how you will run this race. You are set because you have prepared your mind and body for what will come. Being equipped means that everything necessary for this purpose has been provided. You are like a ship that is well equipped with every mechanical aid it needs to navigate. To get set means to be outfitted, prepared and armored. The training has been completed and you are well equipped for the race no matter the challenges or obstacles. Can you imagine what it would be like if you show up to the race unprepared? What if you didn’t think things through and you came to the race without your running shoes. My stepson, Kristopher, did this one (and only one) time! He had become dependent on someone else preparing for him and he had not equipped himself for his own baseball practice. So when he arrived at practice and the warm-up drill was to run the bases, he was not prepared, outfitted or armored with the proper equipment to run. His coach, which happen to be his father, asked him “Where are your shoes?” which Kristopher replied, “I don’t know. No one gave them to me!” It was then and there he learned a hard yet valuable lesson. He had to run in spite of the fact that he wasn’t prepared. After running on a hard, uneven, dirty ground his “feet” never were unprepared again. There is always a lesson to be learned. In this case, Kristopher learned he and he alone was responsible for being equipped and completely outfitted for his own practice, his next race. What is your lesson learned? Are you set? Are you equipped with all that is needed for the next race? Are you “showing up” prepared and ready? If so, now it’s time to...

Go!

Go! A simple command full of punch! You have arrived at the race, stepped up to the mark, put your toe on the line, set yourself for what is about to happen and you’re waiting, heart pounding, anticipating. Finally you hear the word you’re waiting for... GO! And you’re off in an instant running the race you have equipped yourself for...now what? Run your Own Race, in your Own lane, in your Own world. Stay focused and pay attention to what is AHEAD of you! Don’t be looking over at someone else’s race or looking behind to see if you’re ahead of them. If your attention is on anything else but your OWN race, you’ll be tripping and falling all over the place. Keep your eyes, feet, and focus on your race in your lane. That’s all you have control over so that’s all you should be concerned with. God reminds us of this when He instructs us to fix our eyes on the finish line and run with perseverance the race that is set before us. We are to throw off everything that weighs us down and entangles us because it hinders us from arriving at the finish line. Hindrances such as unforgiveness, disappointment, guilt, resentment, anger, fear, bitterness keep us entangled and unable to run freely the race set before us. Can you imagine running a race with a ton of bricks on your back? How far would you get? Exactly!!! Get those bricks out of your life, free yourself up, and GO forward knowing you are equipped, you are ready and you ARE enough!
Today is a fresh start, a new race so...
On Your Mark... Get Set...GO!