Two Kentucky horse racing stable owners had developed a keen rivalry. Each spring they both entered a horse in a local steeplechase. One of them thought that having a professional rider might give his horse an edge in the race, so he hired a hot-shot jockey.

Well, the day of the race finally came, and as usual, their two horses were leading the race right down to the last fence. But that final fence was too much for both of the horses. Both of them fell, and both riders were thrown. But that didn’t stop the professional jockey. He remounted quickly and easily won the race.

When he got back to the stable, he found the horse owner fuming with rage. He really didn’t understand his behavior, because he had won the race. So the jockey asked, “What’s the matter with you? I won the race, didn’t I?”

The red-faced owner nodded, “Oh, yes, you won the race. But you won it on the wrong horse!”
(From 1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking, by Michael Hodgin, p. 148.)

That jockey had the best of intentions. He intended to win the race. But he became distracted from the task. He made a bad decision. And, ultimately, he failed in what he was trying to do.

You know, often times we wind up doing the same thing in our walk with Jesus. We start out strong. We have the best of intentions. We are excited, and we want to succeed in the faith. We have a desire to be faithful followers of our Savior. Yet, so often, we become distracted from the faith. We allow the wrong influences in our lives. We experience a challenge or a setback. We make a bad decision. We experience the spiritual failure of allowing sin into our lives, and our relationship with Jesus suffers.