What Does it Mean to “Run Your Race”

How can you gracefully run your race in life? What exactly does God and the Bible say about “running your race?”

When you’re tired of being single

Whether you’ve been single for six months or ten years, it’s tempting to look around at others and wonder, “When will my day come?”

“When will I no longer be single?”

Related: Clinging to God’s Promises When Life is Hard

 The world is full of advice

  • Get out there more.
  • As soon as you quit looking, it will happen.
  • You need to date more.
  • Have you tried online dating?
  • You’re too picky.

 Maybe you second-guess yourself

 “Should I go there?” “Will I fit in here?” “What will others think if I do this?”

 God has a different answer

God doesn’t tell you that you aren’t doing enough or that you need to do more. 

Related: 7 Lies Single Moms Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free

He says to run the race marked out before you. Run your race

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

But what does this mean? 

What does it mean to run your race?

Focus on what God has called YOU to do, not your co-worker, sister, or friend. He has called each one of us to something different.

Even though we are all called to proclaim Jesus as Lord, our walk with Jesus will look different. For some of us, that will include single motherhood. And that single motherhood may last a season longer than we would like.

But while we are running our race, we fix our eyes on Jesus. He will guide our next steps.

Noah fixed his eyes on his heavenly father and built an ark. He didn’t know why but he didn’t listen to the people around him taunting him.

The woman at the well fixed her eyes on her savior and proclaimed the good news of the man who “told me everything I ever did” to the very people who likely shamed her every day of her life.

But she was so busy running her race she didn’t stop to care. As a result, many people of Samaria believed in Jesus. (John 4)

Related: The 5 Times Moses Questioned His Calling (And Why You Might Be Too!)

What’s stopping you from running your race?

For many of us, it’s comparison. 

None of us were promised a happily ever life with marriage and 2.5 kids. Sometimes we get so caught up in what life should look like that we miss the blessings set out before us. 

We have something better: life with Jesus. Why then do we keep looking at the fairy tale? 

We see what someone else is doing or gets to do, and we want the same thing, so we become envious and get off track. 

One of the best ways to combat comparison is gratefulness.

Before you roll your eyes, consider its often-repeated advice because it works. If you find yourself getting off track often try incorporating a gratefulness routine.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or structured if that scares you away. Something as simple as listing ten things you’re grateful for as you drift off to sleep each night or listing three things in an app each morning can be a great start.

Related: What the Bible Says About Truth

Lack of clarity

It could be you’re unsure what race you’re expected to run. What is God expecting out of you right now in this season you’re in? 

You may wish for a different life, but maybe that’s not the race you’ve been put in right now.

If you’re in a season of taking care of small children as a single mother, maybe this season calls for you to focus on raising them.

Maybe work has you overloaded right now. Maybe you’re balancing taking care of aging parents.

Related: What Does the Bible Mean By “Fear of Man”?

Life won’t always look the way it does right now. But it’s hard to believe that when you’re in the thick of it.

How would it look for you to run the race in front of you? To work out the job God has for you today in the season you’re in? Does it give you clarity, or does it make you anxious? 

If the latter, then perhaps he’s calling you to something different. If that’s the case, then giving those desires and questions to God is your next step. 

Related: How to Pray Effectively

Other Bible Verses About Running Your Race

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

1 Corinthians 9:24 

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14 

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  

2 Timothy 4:7
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