Running My Best Race

Running My Best Race

There’s more to victory and defeat than whether or not I achieve my goal. If I do my best, there’s “glory” in that. And overcoming obstacles only intensifies that glory. That success.

But what is my best? How do I define success in victory or defeat?


It feels great to achieve a goal and revel in the glory of the win. But my reaction is more important.

I define success in victory if my true feelings are thankfulness and humility.

Thankful my efforts have been recognized. And humble, knowing even with this “win”, I’m not superior to others. I may do something better than someone else, but I’m not superior to them.


I don’t like to lose. But one positive effect of my failures has been to keep me from believing I’m better than others.

Even in loss, I don’t consider my efforts successful unless I have an attitude of humility and grace.

Eric Liddell’s example

After athletic success that included winning Olympic gold in 1924, Liddell became a missionary to China. When Japan invaded China in World War II, Liddell and many others were held in internment camps. Even there, he lived his best life for God until he died from a brain tumor. The book, “The Final Race” by Eric T. Eichinger with Eva Marie Everson details his life.

Some would say Liddell was defeated by the brain tumor. I say he was victorious because he ran his best race until he crossed the finish line into eternity.


Regardless of my achievements or failures, I’m only successful when I do what God wants me to do – with a loving, humble, and grateful attitude. That’s the best race I can run.

How do you run your race to achieve success?

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Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.

 May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

6 thoughts on “Running My Best Race

  1. Great thoughts Joni. I appreciate the reminders.

  2. What a great blog post! It is encouraging to find the upside of defeat and of victory, and I love your explanations of how to look at both. Defeat can spur us on to do better and to never give up until we have victory in an area. Many people throughout history, that I admire, have experienced so much defeat in life and yet they end on a high note.

  3. Glory in defeat. Not something I want to think about, Joni, but you are right. Often my failures bring more glory to God than my victory might bring.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting! Prayers that we are all gracious in our victories and defeats. 🙂

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