Winning at Life
Kay’s site immediately tugged at my heartstrings because, like me, Kay’s marriage took her far away from home. Kay writes at The Runaway Bride about her faith, marriage, and travels all around the world. Thanks, Kay, for lending us your words today.
Winning at life means that when you’re able, you lift others up. But when you yourself can’t run, you walk. And when you can’t walk, you let yourself be carried.
TEAMWORK! When two men saw a woman struggling to make it to the finish line during a half-marathon, they selflessly stopped to help her. Then a third came and carried her towards the finish!
Posted by Fox 11 Los Angeles on Sunday, March 26, 2017
I felt my own knees buckle.
I’m an avid reader of blogs, quotes, and various, often very touching articles online. Few, however, have choked me up like this video. I say ‘choked up’ to spare you the uglier cry version, but suffice it to say, I was deeply moved.
I’m not a runner. In fact, been there tried that, and I looked like this MARATHON RUNNER after just a mile. But when I saw how this girl a) didn’t give up; b) was helped by strangers also running the race; and c) was literally carried to the finish line, I saw me.
A couple of days ago I was trying to explain to my husband how I felt that in every area of my life, I just find myself taking taking taking from others, with so little to offer in return. I had imagined my life in service to others, instead I seem to be the object of everyone else’s ministry. It’s more than a bite of humble pie, and has also made me realize some things, apparently God knew I needed to realize.
People need people.
It’s one of the paradoxes of my faith, that God created me to be completely satisfied in Him and yet needing much in this world–including other humans. The fact of the matter is, sometimes, we will have to run slower, or step off the track to help someone else, and sometimes someone else may have to do the same for us. Something about how God designed us humans to need Him and need others, tells me He cares much more about relationship than about anyone crossing their metaphorical finish line first.
True need, needs true love.
And because true love meets true needs, we often don’t even know what true love is, until we reach the point our life depends on it. In fact, God’s love, the epitome of true love, surrounds us every day. But only when we find ourselves needier than we’ve ever been, do we realize that love for all its worth. True love: When we’re running on empty, and someone comes to help us power through, even at their own expense.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
We all need God.
Both ironically and sadly, we often need others to lift us up because someone else has knocked us down. It can be a long process before we trust again, and many times it’s when we’ve reached our end point and have no other choice, that we are forced to accept the help of others. Only then we might realize again the beauty of trusting and being in relationship. What both sides should remember is this: In those times when there is no one you can trust to lift you up, lift your face to God. And when you are the one trying to lift someone who is scared to trust, remember the best thing you can do, is point them back to God who can be fully trusted.
What kind of winner are you?
Naturally, everybody wants to be “the” winner, and the hero of the story. Even Paul in the New Testament, appealed to this rather instinctive part of our nature and told us to “run with endurance” and “go after the prize”. But another time he says, “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing , he deceives himself.
The biggest and best gift God has given me in this season, (and yet frankly, the hardest to swallow), is the realization that the real winners are focused on HOW they run, for example, their sportsmanship and their team spirit. Real winners don’t care what crossing the finish line will mean, or what status it will give them. Real winners care who the race is run with, how the race is run, and who the race if for. And they recognize, it’s their creator. Not them.
The life of faith is not a competition.
I’ve been surprised to see the ways I was treating it like one. It’s wonderful to know we don’t have to run on our own strength, and sometimes the best way to win, is to give up. What kind of winner are you?
Kay, “the runaway bride”, is an American expat living in Switzerland, recently married to her Hungarian. She travels when she gets the chance, but every single day no matter where she finds herself, she hopes and strives to be a woman committed to her faith in Jesus Christ. She lives off coffee and sunshine and taking pictures of all the beautiful things around her that make her happy. Read more of her work at The Runaway Bride.
Beautifully written. There is a season for everything. 🙂
Thank you for reading Christine. And a hearty amen. I was wishing I’d clarified better the different kinds of giving up. But actually, “there is a season for everything” says it all.
I really love the part that real winners are focused on HOW they run and the best way to win is to give up. Beautiful.
Thanks Anmaria. Been trying to put my concentration on that in my personal life and it’s hard, but much more doable actually then the pressure of having to be “the” best!