One of the most rewarding jobs I’ve experienced is being a coach to middle school and high school track athletes. I ran track when I was in high school, and I’ve run countless road races as an adult. Over the years I’ve experienced successes and failures, strength and injury, confidence and fear. It is through these experiences that I gained running wisdom. The athletes I’ve had the honor of coaching have yet to arrive at this same level of wisdom, although most have more talent than I do. They simply haven’t had the amount of experience I have. One of the biggest issues is knowing how to pace their races. A common reason races are lost or goals are not met is that the runner goes out too fast, leaving them unable to outkick an opponent or unable to maintain a pace that would allow them to reach the goal time. The very first time an athlete runs a mile, he has no idea how fast to run it, because he does not know how long he can hold a particular pace. The only way to know that is to run a mile numerous times until you can determine what pace your legs and lungs can maintain over the course of four laps. As the season progressed, many of the distance runners would ask me to be sure to give them split times as they came by me at each lap. They then would know whether to speed up, slow down or maintain their pace. Sometimes I saw looks of despair when that first lap was way too fast, and the runner knew this pace was not maintainable. Other times, the runner went out too slow, and had too much ground to make up in the coming laps.
Walking through life is a lot like the experience of a young track miler. What job is the right one for me? Should I take a chance on this person? Should I risk everything to start this business? How do I make sure my child is ready for her driver’s license…first date…college? Am I ready to own my own home? None of these things naturally come to us – just as a first time miler doesn’t naturally know the perfect pace. It takes the experiences of life to guide us as we make decisions. Thankfully, we have a Father who loves us so much that He gives us the opportunity to use the experiences in our lives to become wise. Even bad experiences make us wiser and better able to handle the next good or bad experience. Keep this in mind when asking God for wisdom. You then will see each new experience as a way to gain more wisdom.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Please give me wisdom in all things. Help me look at each experience in my life as a gift of wisdom from You. Thank you, Lord, for giving so generously to me. Help me to receive your gift of wisdom and put it to use in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray – Amen.
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