I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the reality TV show “The Amazing Race,” in which teams of two people race around the world in competition with other teams, but it’s one of my wife’s favorites. She loves to travel and see all the amazing places and the cultures of each country they go to. She’s an Amazing Race addict, but realizes she could never be on the show because she would always stop and smell the roses and lose on the first leg.
A snapshot of life
As we watch season after season, I realize that it’s a snapshot of what life is really like. There are some highs and lows, stresses, frustrations, pains, and wounds. These are just part of the most monumental points in someone’s life — proposals, losses, separations — just about every single thing you can imagine in life goes on with the couples in “Amazing Race.” But at the end of the show, every single person who is cut for not making a leg of the race on time says it’s been one of the most amazing experiences of their life. You see, I think they’re looking at the whole picture of their race — no matter how short their time was or how long it was — these were experiences that they’ve learned and grown from. They all don’t win, and some go out in the first two or three legs of the race, but they’re filled with excitement and adventure even though it’s not always a fun time.
Racing with God
I remember one season there was a couple that had to match some Dutch shoes then find a special pair in a room full of hundreds of shoes that looked almost identical. I think they were the last team to arrive, tempers flared when one partner couldn’t complete the task. By the grace of the host, they were not cut despite being extremely late. In my own crazy imagination, I thought that’s just how God is with us. He allows us to experience challenges in life, obstacles in life and adventures in life all to grow up outside of our comfort zone to make us stronger people and more committed to him and each other. No matter how low or how high it becomes, the adventure of life with God is an amazing race. Even as I look back over the last 15 or 20 years, I picture points of extreme trial and extreme joy, but it’s all part of this thing called life. I don’t know how I would actually be where I am today without God in my life, a song of praise in my heart and my foot tapping to last Sunday’s worship that I just can’t get out of my head. Those of you who know me know that I sometimes take the verse, “Christ came that we may have life to the full” a little too far, thinking that he really meant a full packed life of 26 hours in a day. Every night I know that I can put my head down and rest in peace, knowing that no matter what I experience, God is the one who holds me and keeps me every single day.
“And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT).
Race to win
The people on “The Amazing Race” choose to be in the race fully aware of what they’re up for: physical exertion, stressful situations, tears of pain and suffering, tears of joy and excitement, experiences they have never had in their life before, both good and bad, all while running very close with someone they care about. Whether we choose to see life as an Amazing Race with God or not, He will allow us to go through just about everything we can imagine and then some.
Sometimes when things get tough, I need to realign myself and understand that I like the people on the Amazing Race, and I’m not giving up, but I can only do it with my partner, God, by my side. He is the one who encourages you, pushes you on and over the edge to keep going, knowing it’s going to get better, knowing that you’ll grow and be a better person, knowing that life lessons will be learned, and more importantly, you can do it!
Life really is an Amazing Race, and the rewards can be much better than a million dollars.
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25 NLT).
Grif Blackstone is publisher of the Good News and president of Blackstone Media Group, a full-service marketing and web design company. Grif has helped hundreds of businesses build an effective brand identity to help them grow their business. Call 954-564-5378 or email [email protected]
PHOTO CUTLINE AND CREDIT: “Good Old Fashioned Spit in the Face”–In this Road Block, Denise (left) must fly over Victoria Falls in a micro-light and search for the next clue on the Knife Edge Bridge on THE AMAZING RACE, Friday, Oct. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved