I don’t think I had ever seen our high school students work this hard before — at least not in the classroom. Of course, they had a rib dinner and a free trip to Dairy Queen at stake. At our 2012 Spring Lab, the students divided into two teams and fought tooth and nail in a knockdown, drag-out battle against their opponents. Well, not quite. Actually, they competed to earn points for their respective teams. For a whole week, the students struggled to outdo their counterparts through Scripture memorization and team games.

The competition reached a climax on the final day. Both teams had competed well, but the winning team won by a wide margin. The counselors asked me if both teams could receive the prize because they had worked so hard. I had to tell them no because there can only be one winner. The loser would be awarded the honor of serving the winning team.

In every competition, there will be a winner and a loser. This doesn’t mean we should not compete. We need to strive for the prize with every ounce of strength we have. If we fall short of victory, however, we need to accept it and learn to move on. To compete and fall short is to finish ahead of the person who refuses to try at all. Running is winning.

This truth has many practical applications. You may lose out on a promotion you feel you deserve. You might lose the guy or girl of your dreams to someone else. Perhaps you went in for an interview, and someone with less experience was hired. These things will happen, but you cannot give up. Run that ye may obtain. Who knows? You might find that as you run, God has an even better opportunity waiting for you.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.