In his days the righteous will flourish; prosperity will abound till the moon is no more. (Ps. 72:7)

NEXT MONTH WILL MARK the commencement of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Every year since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has been run the first Saturday in May, and, in most years, followed by the Preakness Stakes two weeks later and the Belmont Stakes three weeks after that. An often-used expression comes from the world of horse racing. That is “right out of the gate,” which typically refers to the speed horses demonstrate, and potential lead gained with a quick start, when the gates open.

When Solomon prayed, he asked God to bless two empires. Solomon sought God’s blessing, guidance, and wisdom so that his reign in Israel would reflect righteousness and justice, gain prosperity and greatness. And he prayed for an even greater kingdom—the one belonging to Jesus the Messiah.

Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived, so his ardent prayers certainly would have “kick-started” any kingdom. However, even great starts are sometimes followed by faltering or stumbling steps along the way. This was true in Solomon’s case as well. Solomon repented late in life, but his kingdom suffered during those times when he was in sin.

Like horses, we humans are capable of great starts, but those winning beginnings must be followed by continued faithfulness if we wish to serve God and support His work.

Enjoy the upcoming races!

Remember the race belongs to Him, and we must do our very best every day.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor, turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.