What does winning look like? When I think about winning, this is what comes to mind for me:
Getting to the finish line. The praise and congratulations that comes along with finishing something, particularly if one finishes first.
But what about the process? How do we know we are still winning, or even have a chance at winning while we are still in the middle of the race? If one is running a race in competition with others, this would be quite easy. One would just need to look around and if they are in the lead, then that would be a sure sign that victory was on its way. Most things in life are unfortunately not that easy to gauge.
I like to look into my Bible when I need direction on things. The first thing I see reading the book of Hebrews is that we each have our race marked out for us. And so, I cannot gauge whether I am winning or losing by comparing my life with those of others around me.
“……And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.Hebrews 12: 1 – 2
The second thing this verse tells me is as I run my race, I need to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. One of the wonderful things about how our vision works is that we can only really focus on one thing at a time. There will be other things in the periphery of our eyesight, but the main message transmitted to our brain through our eyes is what we have in our main line of sight.
I believe that this is why we are told to fix our eyes on Jesus. Jesus is knowledge, truth and wisdom. I find that when I fix my eyes on Jesus I am able to pace myself. He reveals to me where I am in my lifelong race. Be it on a mountain or in a valley, he reminds me that I should not get too caught up in the moment. Whether I am in a trial or a season of rest, he shows me that all these moments add up to my ultimate victory, completion of the race he has set out for me. I do not do it perfectly, and he often has to guide me back to my race, but thank God, he truly works all things for good. I’m sure sometimes I am like the Israelites, taking 40 years on a journey that would have been completed in a few weeks but God never gives up on me. God never gives up on any of his children. He will never give up on any of us.
And so, unlike how the world sees it sometimes, I am not only winning when everyone around me is applauding me. I am winning when I let Jesus lead. I am winning when I let him show me the way to work out all the plans he has for my life. Whether that plan is accompanied by earthly accolades is irrelevant. The heavenly trophies are more than enough. The peace, comfort and certainty that comes with doing what God has asked us to do is so much more than what the world can give. Victory is sure when we walk with our God.
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”1 Corinthians 15:57
This to me is what it takes to win. Keeping at our race with our focus on Jesus. Whether or not we can see a finish line in sight. He knows what the plan for our lives is, and slowly but surely, he will unveil it as we continue to trust and walk with him. He is faithful and will bring us to victory.