MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION
By Deion Sanders with Tejado W. Hanchell, Ph. D
We finally made it to the second half of 2012, Baby! The second half is where championships are won. It doesn’t matter what happened in the first half of the year, you still have an opportunity to finish strong in the second half and get the victory! The second half is “Prime Time”. This is the where legacies are made. This is the time to decide if you’re going to keep on running…or shut that thing down!
We’re less than a week away from the start of the Summer Olympics in London, England. I can’t say I enjoy all sports, because somebody needs to explain curling to me. It looks to me like they’re just cleaning the ice with a broom, and if that’s so I got a cousin named Junebug who could win the gold! By far, my favorite Olympic sport is track and field. All y’all know Prime can run…STILL, and if any of y’all 32-45 that want some…I’m not hard to find!
I like track and field because there is no better metaphor for life than a race. Even the Bible tells us to “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). I heard a preacher say recently that there are four key elements to every race:
1. The Course
Every race has a course, and you’ve got to know the course if you’re going to finish the race. Some courses have hurdles and obstacles. If you don’t know where there hurdles are, you’re bound to fall. It’s important for you to know your course. Have a plan. It’s not enough to have speed…you also need strategy. It’s not always the fastest runner who wins the race. Sometimes it’s the runner who has the best strategy for the course.
2. The Starting Line
Every race has a starting line. There is a defined point where the race begins. The problem with most people is that the race has started and they are clueless. They’re stuck in the starting blocks while everyone is running ahead of them. Every runner runs the same distance. Pay attention to the starting line and get ready to take your mark, get set, and GO!
3. The Finish Line
Not only does every race have a starting line, every race also has a finish line – a defined ending point. In distance races, the finish line is the same as the starting line, but in sprints the starting and finish line are in different places. You need to know where your finish line is. In other words, what’s your goal. What’s your ending point. If you don’t have a finish line, a goal, you’re not racing – you’re just running. You’re just wasting energy running in circles, but most of all, you’re wasting time. Time cannot be redeemed. Focus on your finish line and you will find success.
4. The Runners
Of course, you can’t have a race without runners. It’s the runners who make up the race, and you have to realize is that you are not the only runner in the race. Every race has more than one runner. On my way to camp one day, this is what God gave me. When I picture the race of life I see five primary runners.
Lane 1 – A Lie
Lane 2 – Jealousy
Lane 3 – The TRUTH
Lane 4 – Envy
Lane 5 – Hate
The runners are all in their starting blocks and as soon as the gun goes off, the Lie jumps out first. The Lie always gets a head start because people will believe a Lie before they even see the TRUTH. The problem with the Lie though is that it can’t sustain itself. A Lie will soon lose gas, burn out and drop out of the race. The TRUTH will always outlast and outlive any Lie!
Right behind the Lie, however, is Jealousy and Envy. They are in lanes 2 and 4 – surrounding the TRUTH in lane 3. Jealousy and Envy will always try to surround the TRUTH and suppress the TRUTH. When I ran track, the coaches told me never to look to the left or the right at my opponent because it would only slow me down. The TRUTH doesn’t even have to acknowledge Jealousy and Envy because Jealousy and Envy are always obsessed with the TRUTH. They always want to know what the TRUTH is doing and how the TRUTH is running. So, they’ve already slowed themselves down and are non-factors in the race. When Jealousy and Envy try to surround you…just ignore them. (Somebody say, AMEN!) The only way to deal with ignorance is to ignore it!
In spite of the Lie jumping out first and Jealousy and Envy trying to surround and suppress it, the TRUTH stands strong and steady. The TRUTH is like the tortoise in the old children’s story “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The TRUTH knows that the race is not given to the swift (Ecclesiastes 9:11), but victory comes through endurance. And one thing that TRUTH can do is endure! After the Lie dies, Jealousy is jilted, and Envy is evicted, the TRUTH will continue to do what it does!
However, TRUTH has to remember that there is one more runner in the race – and that’s Hate. Unlike the Lie, Hate doesn’t try to run ahead of the TRUTH. Unlike, Jealousy and Envy, Hate doesn’t try to run next to and surround the TRUTH. No, Hate loves to stay behind and FOLLOW the TRUTH. No matter where the TRUTH goes, Hate will always be right behind. So, if you’re being followed by Haters, that’s a good indication that you’re running with the TRUTH!
Just like with Jealousy and Envy, the TRUTH can’t afford to be distracted by Hate. It would be even worse for TRUTH to pay attention to Hate because Hate is BEHIND the TRUTH. That means TRUTH would have to TURN AROUND just to look at the Hate. That’s really all your Haters want. They want you to take your eyes off the finish line, stop running your race, and turn around to look at them. Don’t give them the satisfaction. Focus, baby, focus! The best thing you can do for your Haters is to love them…they HATE that!
Jesus said, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). Some people you have to learn to love from a distance. Don’t stop running. It’s time to finish this race! And if you’re anything like me, we gon finish this thing high-steppin’ with the hand behind the head. Now take the picture!
Tejado W. Hanchell