Enjoy the Race, Not Just the Finish Line

When you produce movies for a living, there are a number of sexy moments, many of which we’ve just lived through with the release of Believe Me: parties with actors and investors, interviews with nationwide press, red carpet premieres, Q&A sessions with big crowds. All of these occasions are important milestones that have both celebrated and rewarded much hard work. What many forget or fail to realize is that these moments comprise maybe 0.01% of the total time spent on the project. And, the other 99.99% is very unsexy.

The Un-Sexiness at Riot Studios

Sometimes it’s been driving around the country in a beige minivan on no sleep with tee shirts in your lap because there’s no more space to pack stuff. Sometimes it’s been passing out 10,000 event flyers in 100 degree heat. Other times it’s been all-nighters at the office to try to get a file to export correctly when the computer keeps crashing. Or, moving the computer to the strategic place in our cheap office that doesn’t get rained on through our leaky ceilings. Regardless of what exactly it is we’re doing at a given moment, we’re usually confident it’s not something a lot of people would sign up for.

We look at the celebratory seasons as something like crossing a finish line. They’re inspiring to us, but they’re not enough, on their own, to motivate the race itself. It’s important to enjoy the race, not just the finish line. The truly worthwhile victories are the ones where the passion comes from the doing rather than the finishing.

When Celebrities Fool You

Every day, thousands of aspiring actors practice their Oscar acceptance speeches instead of running lines for an upcoming audition. Wannabe pro athletes prepare touchdown dances instead of footwork on their routes. Hopeful rockstars sharpen their arena stage moves or future interviews with Rolling Stone instead of scales on their instruments.

These people like the idea of being famous more than they like the actual work they want to be famous for. They’ve seen an inspiring someone on TV that made them want to follow a similar path. The problem is, they’ve never witnessed the path, only the destination. People need to walk the path for a while to know whether or not they can develop a passion for it. The passion must be in playing the game, not just in the winning or the losing.

When Heaven is the Finish Line

I’ve seen this lack of judgement at times in my understanding of Christianity. I cared a lot about heaven (or, probably more honestly, evasion of hell), but I really had no passion in actual Christian living. All my religious acts were done as necessary routines to get what I wanted, “eternal life.”

But, at some point I woke up to the idea that God wants my heart, not my supposedly soul-saving chores. When I delved more into the heart of God and the reality of Jesus, it clicked. I developed a passion for loving and serving God. Heaven became a natural finish line to the race I was running, but it wasn’t the sole motivating force.

We ought to spend time on the things with holistically enjoyable victories. When we finish a race, what comes next? Usually another race. And, if you hate running, how does the finish line serve you except to bring you closer to doing the thing you hate all over again?

Each Race is Part of a Larger Race

The hopeful truth is that finding a race you are motivated to start, passionate to run, and proud to finish opens the door to true growth. Each phase, project, or season becomes a leg of a much bigger picture- your legacy, the thing you leave behind. Life is too short to leave behind things you don’t really believe in or care for. So, get started on things that matter to you, and be proud of how you’ve grown when you cross that ultimate finish line.