race not to the swiftNOT TO THE SWIFT

race not to the swift

My very pretty, long-limbed niece has an impressive athletic profile. She was an under-13 champion for High Jump in South East England just a few years ago.  I very fondly refer to her as “The Swift Leg”. As we were celebrating her birthday a couple of weeks ago, the word “swift” kept reverberating in my mind. Well, it actually turns out that the business of being “swift-legged” runs in my family; my brother, T’Olorunleke, of blessed memory, set Long Jump records at College in the 1970’s,  in Lagos, Nigeria and they are yet to be broken. However, I believe that the particular swift gene skipped me as I cannot even hop, let alone step or jump to save my life!

Now back to the matter that we must very swiftly attend to.  King Solomon says it this way. “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the strong and neither is bread to the wise nor riches to those of intelligence and understanding nor favour to men of ability but time and chance over take them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11 Amplified. This brought me to the stark realisation that it is not because I have it all thought out and strategically planned that it comes to fruition. Sometimes in spite of our very best plans, efforts and intentions something just goes wrong. Something beyond what we can manage or control might just become a major obstacle.

The New Living Translation actually puts it this way “…The fastest man does not always win the race.” Ask Usain Bolt! He will tell you all about the last race of his outstanding, exemplary career which took place at the World Athletic Championships in London 2017, when like a bolt (no pun intended) out of the blue and to the shock, horror and utter dismay of his fans all over the world, he pulled up hurt and could not even finish the last leg of the 4 x 100m relay race. He had absolutely no control over the situation. Yet he must have worked hard and as always been expectant of a stellar performance. But it never happened.

The fact that God will ultimately have the final say is however not an excuse to sit down and be lazy. It does not work that way. “Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty” Proverbs 14:23 NLT. The likes of Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Usain Bolt, Kanu Nwankwo, David Beckham and a host of other renowned sports men and women did not make it to and remain at the peaks of their careers by being idle or lazy. Make sure you do your own bit. Get an education, do that feasibility study, research that product before you embark on selling it, analyse your data for that thesis thoroughly, advertise your business, network, cross your “t’s, dot your “i’s”, read up about that organisation before you attend the interview, set realistic goals and take steps to achieve them. Then when you have done all that you need to and can do, let God Himself propel you forward. After all, it is written thus “I planted, Apollos watered, but God (all the while) was causing the growth”. 1 Corinthians 3:6 Amplified.

Dear friends whatever your dreams, your plans or your goals, work hard to achieve them and then “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3: 5 & 6 NLT.  Remembering of course that “…it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth  mercy.” Roman 9:16 KJV


Oluyinka Ego-Martins©