The Race

by Sheri Schofield

It was a calm, peaceful day. The wind gently blew the grass in the fields into silver-green waves all around me. It was much too pleasant to rush up the dirt road, so I drove more slowly than usual, not more than twenty-five miles per hour, looking at the fields and trees, searching out the wildlife to see what the little creatures were doing.

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a bird flying alongside me. I turned to look. There, beating his wings as fast as he could, was a young red-tailed hawk. He darted across in front of me then darted back, gaining with each beat of his wings. Not being the competitive type, I held my pace to see what he would do. Up the hill he raced along the road, his wings beating faster and faster. Finally, he settled on a post ahead of me and looked back. It was as clear as day that he was saying, “Ha! I beat you!”

I laughed. A verse popped into my mind at that moment. The Apostle Paul wrote, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24 NIV).

Just as the young hawk was looking for a race, so many of our youth at church are looking for a race to win. Over the years, the Lord has called upon me to do leadership training three times with different groups of children, for those particular groups are destined to accomplish great things for Him. I just finished training one such group, whom the Lord has clearly chosen since they were toddlers. I began teaching the older ones when they were four years old. They are starting to turn twelve now.

Every other year or so, the Lord would put me with those same children. This past year it was time to teach them to be leaders. The children varied in age from nine to eleven years old when we began. The work challenge outside the classroom was intense – with serious rewards like Shield of Faith necklaces, Christian tee shirts, silver chalices and jeweled candle holders. Expensive? Yes. But the results are always phenomenal. Each student strives for the prizes, and in the process, learns the joy of serving Jesus and others.

This year was the best of all. As we neared the finish line to determine the winner for the year, two eleven-year-old girls began racing, challenging each other. First one would lead, then the other would pull ahead. They were good friends—and competitors. One girl organized and conducted a two-day VBS in her back yard and invited the neighbor children—all by herself! This girl did seventy-seven hours of Christian service this past school year! The other girl memorized verses about fifteen different subjects and did extensive Christian service at home and at church, totaling ninety-nine hours of work! No children in any of my previous classes has come close to what those two girls did. They saw the race. They accepted the challenge. They spurred each other on. They excelled in love and good works.

Leaders are built when we spur each other on in our service for Jesus. Has God called you to lay down the challenge for those who are younger than you? Will you step up and lead them in the race? You never know what great things God will accomplish through you! Go for it! Trust me: It is exhilarating!

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 NIV.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

sheri schofield

About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the conversation: Has God called you to minister to children? Share your ministry with us!

One thought on “The Race

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.