Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 13, 2011

Reflections on a Race

Jonathan and Steve arriving at a checkpoint.

This past Saturday morning at 9:00 AM, my son Jonathan and his teammate Steve took their first of an estimated quarter-million paddle strokes at the start of the Texas Water Safari — the world’s toughest canoe race. The 260-mile course takes contestants from the starting point at San Marcos, Texas all the way to the finish line at the small coastal community of Seadrift. After months of preparation and long training runs down various segments of the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers, Jonathan is living his dream of competing in the Texas Water Safari. My oldest daughter Niki is serving as his team’s captain and is allowed only to replenish their water supply at designated check-points along the route.

The rules of the race are strict and tough. No one but the team captain is allowed to touch a contestant and a contestant’s boat. My family and I had the opportunity to “see” and “speak” to Jonathan from a distance last night at one of the checkpoints. He and Steve actually looked pretty good considering they had just completed a 10-hour stretch of river in Texas heat and had slept for less than an hour since the start of the race. As for me, I have enjoyed following their progress in near real time on my computer and on my phone. The week before the race I purchased a GPS device called a Spot Tracker for Jonathan. Every few minutes, this little device sends a signal to a satellite that then transmits their location to Google maps. Without question, this was a great investment! As of last night, Jonathan and Steve had paddled past the half-way mark. We are praying that they continue to make each checkpoint along the way at the designated times.

Following the race via Spot Tracker.

I mentioned in my first post on the Texas Water Safari that this race has caused me to reflect on how I am doing in my personal spiritual journey with Christ. As I have waited anxiously for Jonathan’s Spot Tracker to update I have wondered what it must be like for my Heavenly Father who is intensely interested in where I am and what I am doing on life’s journey. And, as I have stood with others at checkpoints along the route to encourage the contestants, I have also thought about these words found in Hebrews 12:1-2 — “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of God.”

I am intensely interested in everything that is happening along the way as my son and his teammate paddle their way toward the Gulf of Mexico. God has used my son’s participation in the Texas Water Safari to remind me of His interest in my progress. I really do want to make the checkpoints along my route. And, I want to encourage others along the way and make it to the finish line with my integrity intact so that I can hear my Heavenly Father say, “Well done, good servant!” (Luke 19:17). But, in order for that to happen, I must be faithful, persevere in spite of setbacks, encourage others along the way, and keep my eyes on Jesus. I am determined to do just that as I “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:13). I am proud of you Jonathan, Steve, and Niki.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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.


%d bloggers like this: