By God’s design, He made our lives as a loop of rings to form a chain. A disconnection means we’re no longer a chain we are. Similarly, life is like a relay race, every member of the team has a stake. So life as a relay, we win or lose together. As the role, the person that kick-start the race is important so is the person who finishes the race. And in-between are athletes who transit the baton to one another. But if any member of the team slacks in his role because he doesn’t take the baton for the last lap of the race then the team will lose the race altogether.
One reason for competition in life is our view of life as a hundred-meter dash. Most times we believed the world revolves around us. To us, it is us or no one else. Our service to God, brethren, and nation wanes because we do not want to play the second fiddle. We ask why we shouldn’t be the leader. After all, we are better qualified than the person given the recognition. More often than not we forget whosoever leads needs the support of others. Thus, we feel this will wound our image for working in the background. Perhaps, we forget there is no such thing as “one-man army.” Remember Even the hundred-meter gold medalist had other people on his team. They include his medical team, his trainer, the crowd, and other people. So, together they’ll win or lose depending on how each team member handles his role.
Yet, some factors are responsible for the way we see life. To some, it is a solo race, and the winner takes it all. While to others, life is a race together we win or loss. Some reasons we often reject supportive roles in favor of forefront are these;
- The way we measure success: The world measure success by what you accumulate. But, the Bible teaches otherwise. Luke 12:20. It is not how much we get but how much we give. Leadership is measured by how many people we serve rather than how many people are serving us. Joshua had a great victory, but three other men were instrumental to that feat Exodus 17:8-13. These are Aaron, Hur, and Moses. But, I noticed something, Moses never complained about the pain he is suffering as he raised up his arms. But, the duo of Aaron and Hur saw the weariness in Moses; they never waited for anyone to tell them. Even, they didn’t consider whether Joshua acknowledged their support. Still, they did the little they could, Joshua and his army did theirs and at the end, it was a win-win for all. Thus, there’s no limit to what we could achieve together if we do not mind who gets the credit. This is because Life as a relay, we win or lose together
- Pride: This is a situation when we give ourselves position higher than our real value. That means, we accorded ourselves position higher than we deserve. We do not want to start small or serve in a small place. The young man with one talent in the parable of talents felt he deserve more (Matthew 25:14-30). We often forget the tall tree first had its root to go down first. For instance, Elisha was ready to start at the least position of pouring water on Elijah’s hand 2 King 3:11. But if we understood that Life as a relay, we win or lose we’ll know that the fruits on a tree need the root to get nutrients as the roots need the fruits to show the work it has been doing.
- Ignorance of our purpose. Just like the body does not have the same function so, every one of us has unique and separate functions to input in the world. It is unimaginable for the nose to want to do the ears’ job. So, staying active may be good but not God’s. God does not recognize a service done outside his will. Thus, understanding our purpose and staying within the confine of his plan for us is wisdom. Therefore, God designs his programme as a relay race such that the result will depend on our collective small role.
- Covetousness. The book of James 4: 1-3 record “what causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet, but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask; you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures”. This means covetousness is behind our unwillingness to serve in a position that will not notice us.
I realized that truth several years ago that Life as a relay, we win or lose together. In that incident, God convinces me covetousness make us feel bigger than our size.
My boss asked me to follow up with a project. After the job, he gave me my share of the proceeds, but that did not satisfy me because I felt I deserve more. As a result, I was bitter with him for weeks. But one day as I was washing the dishes, the Holy Spirit reminded me of an incident in the Bible Luke 12:13-15. A young man came to Jesus and asks him to speak to his brother, so he can share their father’s estate with him. From this young man’s word, he felt his brother had not treated him fairly. But Jesus gave a shocking reply. “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth”(KJV)”. Immediately I heard the burden in mind about the presumed unfair treatment jumped out.
So, you can see how covetousness is linked to the unwillingness to play a supportive role in accomplishing great things for God.
Imagine a situation where two or more people handling a car steering. Such a journey will end in disaster. Similarly, unhealthy competition leads to discord among people. But when we see life as a relay, we win or lose together.
Author: Joseph Akinrinola
Joseph Akinrinola is a Pastor, Sunday school management coach, author, blogger, and a motivational speaker.
Joseph created this blog to help young Christians establish their
feet in Christ, and to provide Biblical time-tested answers to life’s
questions about relationship, christian living and personal development.