It was one of the most highly anticipated races ever run. Today, running aficionados still refer to it as the “Miracle Mile.” England’s Roger Bannister was the first in the world to run a mile in under 4 minutes but he only held the record for 6 weeks until John Landy of Australia knocked a second off Bannister’s time. So on August 7th 1954 as the two runners were competing in the same race for the first time, the world was watching.
You have to flip back to before I was born to watch the race but now through YouTube, we can. Although the footage is in black and white the tension and excitement are palpable.
Landy set a fast pace early in the race but in a moment that has been immortalized in bronze, Landy looked back over his left shoulder to see where Bannister was and in that second, Roger Bannister overtook him on the right and went on to win the race.
Landy is quoted as saying, “When Lot’s wife looked back she was turned into a pillar of salt. When I looked back I was turned into a pillar of bronze!”
I find that to be a powerful illustration of a profound spiritual truth. How often do we compare how well we are running our race as followers of Christ with others? If someone else seems to be gaining more ground, then we judge ourselves and easily lose heart.
When Paul wrote to the Church in Philippi he said, “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Phil. 3:13-14, NLT).
Each of us has been given a lane to run in. Your story is different from my story, but in Christ’s hands both are powerful. When we compare ourselves we lose energy for the race and we lose sight of the finish line.
When I first began to speak publicly I would compare myself to others like Beth Moore, Patsy Clairmont or Christine Caine and I found it so discouraging because I couldn’t do what they do so beautifully. But the more I studied God’s Word the clearer I heard it, a passionate call to run in my own lane.
God has given you a lane to run in.
It’s as unique as your story.
Don’t turn to the right or the left to see how everyone else is doing.
Run in your own lane!