Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Unexpected Victories

Keni Harrison was a shoo-in to make the 100m hurdle Olympic team. She had the fastest time coming in and was considered the favorite. But something fell apart that day and she did not make it to Rio; her Olympic dreams were dashed.

Two weeks later she ran in London at a Diamond league track meet. She was poetry in motion and broke a world record that had stood for 28 years.

Initially, she was not aware, as there seemed to be a malfunction with the clock. But then one of her competitors nudged her to look at what she had just accomplished and we see the most amazing reaction.

This reaction reminds me of the following:
Know your standards - Every competitor knows the standards for their sport. Even if you're not a world-class athlete, you have measurable goals that you are trying to reach. Because it is only in pushing ourselves that we recognize how strong we really are. Her competitor, Nia Ali, pointed it out first because she recognized what she had been a part of.

Shared joy - all the individuals in that race knew the standards; they all knew what the WR was. Nia Ali noticed it first and with a smile on her face told her to look at the clock. The smiles and the hug; we all want that when we achieve. But also notice that the other competitors are clapping and congratulating her.

Getting back up - she could have quit, but she didn't. She continued to run, pushing herself in the process. As my devotional reminded me today - "Many winners have reached success by climbing a special ladder called “never give up.” However, there are also many who have lost the opportunity to achieve success because they gave up too soon. This can happen in every area of life: family, education, friends, work, service. Perseverance is a key to victory."

Relief and glee - she went into every race after the trials knowing that she had it in her to break the WR. The Olympic Trials was an unfortunate fluke. So she kept running. That reaction is priceless. Unbelievable joy at achieving a major goal.

The Christian life has all of these characteristics. As a believer, we know our standard - Christ. The goal is to always live like Christ. We keep trying because when we do it is worth it. We're not in this race alone - He has given us a comforter, the Holy Spirit that we can tap into and we have each other. Be the Nia Ali who points out what your sister just did. Rejoice with her in victory and weep with her in sadness.

Every successful person climbs a ladder called "Never Give Up." The victories may not come when we expect them to but they will surely come if we stay focused and keep our eyes fixed on Christ. I can only imagine that when I get to heaven, I may have the same reaction, especially after hearing "well done, good and faithful servant.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 

What keeps you going when things don't work out as you think they should?

Poetry in Motion - in case you missed it.


  1. What a powerful title! Here's what you asked:

  2. Wow. It must have been so hard to keep going after missing out on the Olympics, but if she had given up, she wouldn't have had that moment. It's a valuable lesson in perseverance.


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