Keeping Pace

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My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.

Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. Proverbs 3:21-26

Insight

As I stood amidst a sea of runners packed in the starting corral like sardines, my nerves were getting the better of me. All those months of training lead up to this moment - my first attempt at running a half marathon. Slow and steady might not win the race, but it would allow me to cross the finish line and check this achievement off my bucket list. 

I knew, just like the rest of the other running rookies, I had a good chance of making a devastating mistake - getting caught up in the excitement and starting too fast. If I came out of the gates like the Road Runner, chances were good I'd end the race trotting along like Myrtle the Turtle. 

To curb my enthusiasm and ensure I ran at a steady speed, I stood next to a pacer. This gentleman donned in a bright yellow vest was an experienced runner whose sole goal was to help others run at their desired speed (in my case...slow). 

Off we went, putting one foot in front of the other.  If I kept the pacer in my sights, I knew I would be okay. The longer I kept the yellow vest in view, the more confident my steps became. Eventually, I crossed the finish line. The ornament that then graced my neck was a medal reminding me I was a runner. 

What we see determines our direction. 

King Solomon, the author of Proverbs, speaks about the need for a pacer in our walk with Christ. Proverbs 17:24 says, “a discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.” Keeping wisdom in view is keeping God as our focus.

Focusing on Him prevents us from attempting to run ahead, relying on our limited strength, and carving out our own path. Keeping in step with wisdom also safeguards us from being a slowpoke and enabling comfort and convenience to slow our pursuit of integrity down to a stroll. Instead, we stay in sync with the One who knows the layout of the race better than anyone else. 

By keeping wisdom and understanding in our sight, our feet will not stumble. We're able to run the race set before us. No matter the twists and turns along the course of our life, when we keep our eyes centered on Him, we run securely. Christ greets us at the finish line and says, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" 

Reflection

  • Are there places where you've let wisdom and understanding out of your sight? If so, where?

Prayer

God, regardless of the circumstances I face, I will keep my eyes focused on You. I want You to guide my steps and to direct my path. May I pursue godly wisdom and let that fuel my pursuit of Your heart. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.


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