“Pulled to a Faster Pace”…

“He wants to be pulled to a faster pace,” Bella, Trae’s wife, told me moments after I had finished the Butte to Butte and happened to cross paths with them. Trae was preparing to compete in a race with much faster runners up in Portland the next weekend and so he was only watching the finishers of the Butte to Butte. Ever since I talked with them, though, that line from Bella has stuck with me.

For those of you who don’t know (i.e. anyone who is not my Facebook friend or follower on Twitter), I love USA Network’s Suits. In brief, it’s about a hot-shot lawyer named Harvey Spector taking on an associate, Mike Ross, who doesn’t have a Harvard law degree – or any law degree. But the guy can consume knowledge like it’s nobody’s business (eidetic memory) and so Harvey sees an opportunity to have an associate that just might be as good as he is.

Mike Ross & Harvey Spector
Two lawyers, one degree…

Mike walked into the interview with a suitcase full of weed and walked out with a job at a billion-dollar law firm.

In case you haven’t watched any of the episodes, I haven’t really spoiled much of anything for you. I will from this point forward, so if it sounds like something you’re interested in watching, make time for the 19 episodes (12 in season 1 and 7 so far in season 2) and catch up. And then come back here.

Between the first episode to where the show is now, Mike has made some major character changes. Sure, he’s still a fraud, but apart from that, he’s done pretty well with the opportunity he’s been given. He’s handling cases on his own and even finding ways to get Harvey out of jams should they arise (consider the latest episode). Mike Ross was working for his friend Trevor as a pot dealer, but now he’s the number one associate to the number one closer in New York, Harvey.

He had his slip ups, for sure. As Harvey likes to remind him, Mike once lost in housing court (which, apparently, it’s a difficult thing to do – lose, that is). But he cut sleep, bad friends, love interests, and even some quality time with his grandma to make where he is now a possibility. He has had a major turn around.

“To be the best you have to play with the best,” Marco Mendoza, a 16 year-old, tennis-phenom client of Harvey once said to Mike. It’s another way of saying what Trae’s wife said; that you are a product of those whom you’re surrounded by. And it makes me wonder.

What if I started surrounding myself with wiser people? No, I didn’t say “smarter” people; wiser. What if I spent my time hanging out with people who have been around the block a few times and know a thing or two about walking with God? What if I started asking more questions and opening myself up a little more – if to no one else but myself – about my insecurities? What if I signed up for a faster race for the sole purpose of running at a faster pace?

Neither faith nor wisdom is a race won by speed. With these two, it’s a merit-by-endurance. But what I’m talking about when I say “a faster pace” in regards to faith is how well my walk with God will be. One Proverb that comes to mind is 13:20; “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

If it’s true that you’re a product of those whom you’re surrounded by, then I must ask, who are you surrounded by? Do they lead you to a deeper and stronger faith? Are they like Mike’s friend Trevor who only seemed trustworthy because he was familiar or are they kind of like Harvey – reaching for bigger and better things?

And no, I’m not posing this question so that we all can start bragging about how wise and faithful we are to God. At that point, we’d be defeated. I am, however, asking this because I’ve questioned myself about the people I’m surrounded by and whether or not their examples in life are backed up with the fruit of faith, hope, love, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control. Or are they people who make me comfortable – maybe even people who make me feel good about myself?

During the Olympic Trials here in Eugene, there were two rest days. On the first, there was an all-comers meet at Hayward. Not having much to do that evening and wanting to see how fast I could run, I signed up for the jogger’s mile. We wrote on our name tags what we thought our mile pace was going to be. Doubtful I could break 6:30, I wrote 6:45. We ran in heats separated by 30 seconds: 4-4:30 heat, 4:30-5 heat, etc., etc. Even though I wrote a slower speed, I decided at the last minute to run with the 6-6:30 crowd.

I ran the mile in 5 minutes, 50 seconds, which ties my high school PR.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” – Psalm 34:8

If we aren’t tasting, are we really seeing how good God is? If we aren’t being pulled to a faster pace – if we aren’t hanging out with people who are more experienced at walking with the Lord – are we really giving it all we got? Are we really loving Him with all we are?

I know I haven’t been.

But I know that if I run with people more experienced in the faith – people who reach far beyond what this world has to offer – I know my own walk with the Lord will be strengthened.

God bless.


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“Do not mistake me for a conjuror of cheap tricks.”

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