At the end of our life we will not look at our trophy case and become amused with all of the achievements arranged there simply by the sight of the accolades. The magnificence of the awards will be in the subject matter of each story for each individual trophy. Discovering gratefulness and a sense of fulfillment will be based on the lives that we impacted along the way. There is something extraordinary in each and every person that deserves to be unconstrained for the sake of others. While running this race you must run with intentions of making it to the end and giving all that is in you to give.
Very seldom do I think of my own departure from life but in doing so I’ve wondered what my funeral will be like. What will people be thinking about how I lived my life? Imperfect of course but death will cause you to think on the importance of someone’s life. Often, I remember one of the last things my grandmother told me before she passed away at age ninety-seven. We were sitting in her bedroom, the light through the window made the room very bright but her smile shined as radiant as the sun ever could. She didn’t know my name but she did say, “You’re George’s boy ain’t you?” I smiled back and said “yes ma’am I am” and grandma looked at me and said “you keep on walking with Jesus, you hear me boy.” Me knowing that any other decision to walk any other way was no longer an option replied “Yes ma’am I am”
Dale Earnhardt, a professional race car driver and winner of the Most Popular Driver award in 2014, said “finishing races is important but racing is the most important thing.” Finishing is vital but what’s the good in finishing if you haven’t raced because this is what you love? What’s the point if this race isn’t about your passion or if you are endangering the life and destiny of the person next to you? Or better yet what if you don’t even make it to the finish line due to a wrong move? So how you race becomes more important than finishing because if you do not apply confidence in your ability, a particular skill set, wisdom to make the right decisions and consideration of others during the race you may not even make it to the finish. A Race can be defined as a contest which involves progress towards a goal. Anytime there is a goal involved there is required focus, determination, training and a careful yet fearless plan or progress.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 says “I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.” Understand that no matter how great you think you should be or if you don’t think you are great at all, you are going to be faced with challenges. This bible verse is simply telling us that adversity inevitably will arise in life but those who stay in the race will be those who win the race, conquer in battle, acquire the bread and obtain the riches.
Remember that we do not reach destiny alone but should share our victories with others. A selfish racer will place the lives of others in danger’s path and possibly end up losing his own life. Life is a team sport. The more people you help, the greater an asset you become and the greater you gain. If you really want to fill your trophy shelf throughout life then let it be filled in heart, in legacy and in the memories of others. Give everything you’ve got to get that baton in the hands of someone else and set them up for the victory. So my dear friends, stay in the race.
Elder Aquila T. Carmon