I recently celebrated my birthday. My family signed up with me to do the Savage Race, a 6 mile course over uneven terrain with 26 obstacles. Yes, we paid to do this. This race is no joke. It was harder than we thought, messier than we liked, and took longer than we planned.
I was telling some friends about it afterward and one said, “This sounds like your life—a Savage Race.” We laughed, but when I thought about it, I started to think she was not far off. My life has been harder than I hoped , it has been far far messier than I would have liked, and the obstacles have taken me longer to get through than I planned. Partly because I didn’t plan most of the obstacles I have encountered in my life. They just happened, and I had to decide how I was going to deal with them.
I thought when I signed up that the name “Savage Race” was a description of the race. But now I believe it is a description of who is running the race. A synonym for savage is fierce.
We need to be fierce to finish. I don’t believe we are to be brutal, cruel, or hard-hearted, but we do have to be fierce.
We have to look at the obstacles this life throws at us and say, I don’t know why this is here, or how I’m going to get past it, but I do know this—it will not defeat me or define me. We must have a fierceness in how we look at the things the enemy uses to destroy us.
Because as much as the enemy means to harm us, God means good for us.
And I am putting my faith in God’s ability to use whatever this obstacle is for my good more than I am the in enemy’s ability to harm me.
At one point in the race, I was swinging 10 feet above a muddy pool of water hanging from monkey bars wondering how I got there and how I was going to get down. Somehow I made it the rest of the way across without falling. All of a sudden I had done something I didn’t know I was capable of—an obstacle with the potential to stop me instead revealed something about me I didn’t know.
There were other obstacles I tried and failed. I fell. But even in the falling, I knew I had tried. I knew I had attempted something rather than being defeated by the idea of it.
Life throws us things we didn’t anticipate or prepare for, and we aren’t given a step-by-step guide on how to get through them.
But we have The Guide. The Teacher.
And when we fall down, because we will, we have The Comforter. And in these moments of falling or flying, we will find out things about ourselves we would never have known. If we invite Jesus into our process, into our daily life, into our obstacles then we will stop letting fear tell us what we can and cannot do.
We will learn to stop letting the fear of failure and pain keep us from loving and daring and hoping. We will find our hearts, and we will come fully alive. Because that is what this race is really all about.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
Jesus, show me the fierceness You have placed in me to be an overcomer. Show Me what You want to do in me and through me with the obstacles that lie before me — the ones I know about and the ones yet to come. Replace dread and fear and fill me with a sense of excitement and anticipation for the adventure that lies ahead of me with You. You are good. You are faithful. I trust my life and my future to You.
Author: Brooke Kireta