I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us. – Philippians 3:14
There goes that feeling again – you know, that all too familiar feeling that seems to come out of nowhere and puts you into panic mode. Take deep breaths, they say. And so you try, but you find that that deep breath is trapped in your chest. You lay your hand on your heart – it’s beating at record speed. Your head begins to throb as you look down at what’s in front of you… and you don’t even know where to begin.
Taking out your planner and opening several tabs on your computer, you simply…attempt to do it all.
Have you ever felt like you were in a race to catch up? No, not with anyone else, but with yourself?
That’s definitely me right now.
My book, Claim Your Crown, will be released in less than two months and as we get closer and closer to the launch, it’s like my to-do list gets longer and longer. To say I feel overwhelmed is an understatement.
I have an amazing family that encourages me daily and I have an awesome team that is doing their best with positioning my book! That brings me great relief.
But (and there’s always a but isn’t there?) my work is not done.
I will forever give God the glory for this triple book deal. I know He gave it to me. I know He wrote it! So of course He’ll take care of the rest of the details, right?
I must confess that I struggle with remembering that it is God, not me that will spearhead the journey every step of the way.
No, I already know this. But quite recently, it’s been a struggle to live this.
Are you with me on that one? December is typically a month where our lofty goals, high expectations, and never-ending to-do lists threaten to loom over us. And it’s one thing to understand in your head that God is there to guide you along the way but it’s another to fully allow yourself to experience His help.
In all the noise, God whispers to us: “rest.” He wants us to remember if we allow Him to set the rhythm of our lives, we’ll run together at a steady pace. God wants us to remember that if we allow Him to set the rhythm of our lives, we’ll run together at a steady pace. Click To Tweet
I was never good at that. Pacing, I mean. I’m the type of girl that gets super passionate about a task and goes all out until it’s completed. Pacing was also not my strong suit in high school.
Back then, I ran track and field. After seeing my speed as a sprinter, my coach tried to place me in long-distance to see how I would do. I told him there was no way I could endure running for such long bouts of time. I thrived in triple jumps, high jumps, hurdles, sprints but no way would I run cross country.
There was potential there but eventually, I quit. My reasoning is three-fold.
- I hated the summer seasons where we would run and sweat in the sweltering heat!
- During practices, my coach would make both cross-country and sprinters run long distances anyway.
- The pressure of speed during our meets.
Though jumping hurdles were something I was good at, my body would tense up right before jumping over them. This mostly happened at track meets – I feared falling, bruising my leg, topping the hurdle over and embarassing myself. I’ve seen it happen with the other hurdlers – some gained so much momentum but would even stop right in front of the hurdle and either run back to jump over it or simply run pass it.
Before the race even began, I would look out onto the track and size up how long I’d have to run and jump and run and jump again. I won a medal at my first meet but man, was I shaken over the pressure.
As I’m writing this now, I’m realizing that running those long distances during practice were indeed necessary.
God is saying to you: what are you doing in your practice time now? Do you notice the ways in which He has been training you to endure long bouts of sweat, pain and stretching before you get ready for your Big Meet?
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (New Living Translation), Paul tells us:
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. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
Paul gave us the secret to winning the race: running with purpose and discipline while keeping our eyes on Christ.
It’s a race, yes. However, in our case, the fastest doesn’t get to the prize. The one who endured and kept the faith in the midst of everything speeding right on by us.
It’s vital to our spiritual lives and well-being to slow down. Actually, we mustn’t just slow down. We must endure the rehearsals. When it’s game time and we’re full speed ahead, we must never forget to turn around, run back to our Father and pass Him the baton. Because in this race, we run it together.
Yes, show up. Yes, do what’s required. But don’t forget to remove the rest of your pressures from out of your head and into His hands.
When I’m in the midst of trying to complete tasks and schedule out my projects, I often have to stop. Why? Because this life is a journey where we constantly have to remind ourselves that God will do the work! And not only will He will not only do the work, He’ll do it perfectly (Philippians 1:6).
How can you stop feeling overwhelmed?
Make peace with yourself, understand:
- You are doing your best.
- We can only make amends for the shortcomings of yesterday by redeeming the time we have today.
- Christ alone will help you cope.
This year has often felt like a sprint, but we must begin to hype ourselves up and run our marathon. With God on our team, we will always be one step closer to where we’re headed! And that’s something worth slowing down to celebrate.
? Claim Your Crown is available for preorder online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads and more!