Yesterday, my daughter Allison and I joined 54,000 other runners and walkers in a 12 kilometer race here in Spokane called Bloomsday. This is the second year we ran in this event. Today, as we were comparing our results and celebrating the progress we made since last year, Allison said something that rings with significance.

As Allison evaluated her performance and compared this year’s race with last year’s she noted a significant difference. Last year we stuck together throughout the race. I am a faster runner than she is, so she pushed herself to keep up with me. That is until the end of the race when she sprinted the last several hundred yards in a last gasp attempt to beat me. Of course, when I saw her take off, I too sprinted and managed to remain in front at the finish line. Both of us pushed ourselves because of the example of the other person. We gained inspiration from each other which improved both of us.

This year, we did not try to stay together. We got separated at the start line and did not see each other until after the finish line.

As Allison processed how she could have performed better this year, she said, “If I could have seen you, I would have run faster.” I immediately knew what she meant. The same was true for me. If I had been running with her, I would have sprinted to the finish line. Instead, I simply maintained my pace through the end of the race. If I had been running with Allison, sprinting at the end of the race, I would certainly have finished in the top ten for my age instead of 12th. Ninth and 12th place were only separated by a few seconds.

Jesus instructs us to watch him. In life, we have the opportunity to look at his perfection. When we do, we become inspired to perform at the highest level possible. Like at the end of yesterday’s race, I tend to settle for status quo. However, if I look at Jesus, I will remain inspired and my performance will continually improve.