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The Great Race
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Photo: Mary A. Pen
I had just finished changing to ultra-light racing tires and inflating them to 110 pounds pressure. The only bicycle preparations left were to change the gearing slightly and lubricate the chain with that special Teflon spray.

It was Friday afternoon and the race was to begin early Sunday morning – my very first triathlon! The event would involve running, bicycling and swimming. Training had been good, although more sporadic than I had hoped. Some great weeks and others not so great.

Let’s see – running shoes, cycling shoes, my favorite socks, helmet, swimming goggles, race number, etc. The list was long, but seemed complete. Oh, don’t forget the banana and slice of wheat bread that would be my 5 a.m. race-day breakfast.

“I’ve got time for one more training run,” I told myself. But I immediately remembered that the book says not to train at all for two or three days prior to the race. Then a strange feeling began to grow in the pit of my stomach. Time had run out! No more training for this race. I was as ready physically as I was going to get.

What About the “Other” Race?

What about the "other" race? The Race of Life? I began to ask myself other questions. Do I train as hard spiritually as I do physically? Do I look back and check for progress? Am I eating that special “Bread of Life?” Will I have enough spiritual stamina to make it through to the finish?

In the bicycle portion of a triathlon, I have to be careful about riding too close to other riders. Officials are along the course to access penalties for “drafting” or “pacing.” I can’t take advantage of the front rider using his body as a windshield to save energy.

But, in the race of life, the only way to win is to stay close – close to the One who has finished the course before you. One who can show you the potholes, point out the broken glass in your path and give you a cool drink when you’re thirsty. Depend on Him. Jesus is the only Way.

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