Ever feel like you’re in an all-out sprint?

In a sprint race they tell you to keep your eyes on the finish line. If you look to either side or even behind you then you aren’t going to run your best race. If you focus on anything other than the finish line then your time is going to suffer and you won’t win the race.

In horse races, they put blinders around the horses’ eyes. Horses are very good at seeing all around them, including to their sides and behind them. The blinders on the horse’s face keep it focused on what is right in front. Otherwise, it would be easy for the horse to get distracted by anything around him like the crowd or other horses.

To make sure their focus is in the right place—the finish line— blinders are put up.

Following Jesus is a lot like running a race. Paul compares following Jesus to running a race a number of times in the New Testament. One of those times is when he’s writing to a church in the city of Corinth. Here is something Paul wrote:

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. (1 Cor. 9:24-26, NLT)

Some runners run to beat the other guy.

Some runners run to get a new personal record.

Paul runs to get the eternal prize.

We all want to follow Jesus in the right way, but easily get focused on other things. I think we create problems for ourselves in our walks with Jesus by doing one thing—comparing.

In a world where so much is outside your control, where you put your focus is one place where you can have control.

If you aren’t focused on the right thing—Jesus—then it means you are focusing on the wrong thing. When you are focused on the wrong thing, you’re just setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.

So do this: take a hard look at who you are and what Jesus is saying to you. Sink yourself into that. Jesus knows what he’s doing so trust him. Jesus doesn’t make mistakes, and every moment you spend thinking he does is a moment you miss out on how awesome he can be.

Let Jesus be creative. Let him surprise you.