My boys continue to love to play racing games on our Wii. I have been watching their skills improve since we first got the system. My favorite race to watch them race is when they race against their own best time. In Mario Kart Wii they call it racing against the ghost. When the race begins you find yourself racing against yourself. You can see every move you made. You see every great turn. You see every mistake. You see it all and you have the chance to pass your ghost by and set a new record.
Our eight year-old son is pretty clever. He quickly realized that he could intentionally race poorly on his first try in order to win the race against himself on the next go. He would intentionally make wrong turns and slam into walls in order to set a low standard for himself that would be easy to surpass. Our six year old son however has not figured out this method of “winning.” He instead tries his best each time to beat the time he set before. Sometimes when he fails to beat his best time he gets discouraged.
As I watch them I cannot help but consider how we all race the ghost. Had I have had my eight year-old’s strategy earlier in my life, I would have done things differently. I would have left more laundry undone and more dishes in the sink in the beginning of my marriage. I would have cooked even worse than I did (if that is even possible) and been a whole lot less involved in my church. I could have set myself up for success! Of course, I am joking.
I prefer my six-year old’s strategy. I try daily to do my best. I don’t always get tasks done as quickly as my ghost, but I am staying the course, learning new tricks, discovering new turns, and stopping to enjoy the scenery. The time it takes me to put away my laundry and dishes may be increasing, but so is my faith and love. For this reason, as I continue racing the ghost I take heart because I am convinced that in the end my faith and love will be the records that matter most.
I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.