Years ago I heard a story of a young boy he desired to be a great runner. With his father’s help, he trained hard, watched what he ate and before long he become one of the fastest kids in school. By the time high school come around he was extremely excited about going out for the track team as a freshman. He was so quick and so fast he was certain that he would make the varsity team. During try outs he amazed his coach with his great athleticism. The coach thought his talent was great, but his heart was even greater. He made the cut on the last day. He rushed home to tell his father the wonderful news. His dad was excited for him. He was extremely proud and promised to be at his very first meet. When that fateful Saturday came this young boy lined up in the first heat, an 800 meter run, and took off far quicker than anyone else in his heat. He knew it too. If he could just maintain this pace he thought I can win. But, he tripped and stumbled to the ground. He managed to quickly get up as he didn’t hurt himself. A little frustrated he took off again with his lead nearly gone. He tripped again trying to grow his lead to where it once was. This time by the time he got up his lead was gone. He was being passed. He again took off running harder than he had ever run before and again his legs gave out on him and he fell just as he caught up with the lead runner. Bruised, battered, and heartbroken he climbed to his feet yet again. The race was over. He started running again. Not a casual jog, not off the track, but towards the finish line as hard as when he started. Sure, he finished dead last. But he did finish. Later talking to his father, his father reiterated how proud he was of his son. His son, however didn’t understand why. “I finished last,” he said. “I fell over and over again. What is there to be proud of.” His father smiled and simply said… “You never quit, even when it couldn’t look any worse.”
For those following my blog, you know that it has been a rough couple of weeks for me. Two weeks ago today, my wife lost our baby. I cannot begin to describe how I felt on the inside. For those who have suffered through a miscarriage, you know my pain. I found out that I was not as strong as I would like to have been. I found myself returning to my old ways. While I have never struggled with the inner demons of alcoholism or a drug addiction, I have for too long found comfort in food. I nearly ate myself to an early grave. I started eating all those foods I gave up a year ago. I started eating more portions, drinking a coke and all the left over holiday foods. Before I knew it I have gained 10 lbs between Thanksgiving and New Years. I couldn’t believe it. Here I thought I was way out in front… winning this race against my past life and I fell down it is was right on top of me. I had a choice to make. I can either get up and keep running or quit.
For most of my life I quit. I stated, who care. I am no better off know than were I was x months ago or x years ago. But, not this time. I got up. I went to the gym and I rededicated myself to hard work. By the end of the week I lost 9 lbs.
My friends, we are all going to fall. Paul stated that there is none righteous before God (Rom. 3:10). We are all going to make mistakes that we regret. But your true merit, your true worth, your true character will be determined by how many times you get back up, dust yourself off and get back into the race.