Although I live near a race track in Florida, I have never been to one. But the Belmont race of the 2015 Triple Crown in New York intrigued me. Possibly for three reasons, because it’s the coveted trophy, the American Pharoah was trained in Florida, and the misspelling of his name.
His name “American Pharoah” was verified to be legally entered, though misspelled, The origin of the name is significant to the owner Ahmed Zayat because of his Egyptian-American background.
American Pharoah was transported from Kentucky to train at McKathan Brothers near Citra, Florida. There his jockey had to learn the horse’s responses to him and he to the horse. He had to know when to restrain him and when to give him free reign, each responding with confidence to the other. In a sense, learning to trust each other.
Trust is built as we involve our lives more in Christ Jesus and confidence between himself and his followers when he assures us that “I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10: 14b).
Although the jockey did not realize it, he and American Pharoah race for God’s pleasure and delight as they were created to do. And God takes this same delight in us, His runners. The jockey and his horse have a course and we have a course. Hebrews says, Let us run “the race marked out for us” (12:1c). We have already been registered in the race by God and assigned our course of “running.”
When we think of American Pharoah running the track, we are reminded of Genesis 1:25c, “And God said that it was good.” Yet God says “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear him.” Psalm 147:10-11a.
The Apostle Paul shouts out, “We are more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37). It could be paraphrased, We are winning a most glorious victory or We win the supreme victory. His love encourages us to persevere in our race.
Encouraging us all to complete our race reminds us that not just one, but all, run Christ’s race and can be winners. In fact, we can be triple crown winners.
So how are we doing in our triple crown pursuit today? Are we running, filled with the persistent and energizing life of our Savior?