THE RACE OF A LIFETIME (WEEK 21)

A funny incident came to mind, from many years ago. It was one of these very cold, winter mornings. I had been out for a while and even with gloves on, my fingers were frozen and numb. Although there was nothing funny about the cold, the way I tried to take my gloves off my hand so I could unlock the car seemed to tickle my friend, Ben Adewale Adekugbe. I could only manage to use one hand to pull the glove on the other hand, one inch at a time. My friend couldn’t stop laughing! My fingers couldn’t stop hurting!

Well, yesterday was one of those mornings. It was freezing cold! Even with a pair of gloves, my fingers were feeling the bite. I was at a crossroad, again. Should I run or not run? I chose to run, knowing that my fingers would recover after a while. And they did.

You know, there are a number of things that, if allowed, can stop you from running your race. Emphasis here on “if allowed”. If you stop running because of bad weather, it is not really the weather that made you stop; it is your choice that hindered your race. You reacted to the weather and chose not to run. You cannot control the weather, but you can control your reaction to the weather.

Let us forget the weather for a moment. What about people who, for whatever reason, are “cold” towards you? What about offences that sometimes come from unexpected places and people? These offences are like stumbling blocks that, if allowed, can stop you from running your race. Emphasis again on “if allowed”. Even thick “gloves” do not fully protect against the bite of offence. Yet, instead of quitting the race of faith because of offences, we can choose to keep running in spite of them. We can choose to forgive offenders and recover from the sting of offence. If we choose to stop running, the offence will only accomplish what it intended to do – to stop you. Release the offence and the offender, therefore, and get on with your race.

Perhaps the hardest offence to release is the ones we hold against ourselves. You beat yourself because of past mistakes and lose all faith in your ability to run a good race. Release that self-inflicted offence too. Forgive yourself and get back on track. You cannot run forward by looking backwards. Release the offence and the offender and get on with your race.

Can I share a “prophecy” with you? Next week is going to be cold! What are you going to do about it? Are you going to run or quit running? Likewise, offences will come. What are you going to do about them? Are you going to run or quit running?

The choice is yours, and mine.

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