Friday, August 8, 2008

The Olympics & Running the Race

Today starts the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing China. The best of the best athletes from around the world will gather to compete for their country. Many words could be used to describe these athletes, but I think one of the best would be perseverance.

A prime example of this perseverance was shown in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Derek Redmond, who had previously shattered the British record for the 400 meter, was there in hopes to win a medal. He started well around the track. And then it happened. His hamstring popped, dropping him to the ground.

He fell to the ground in obvious pain. But after a few minutes he pulled himself up. Everyone else had finished the race, yet he struggled to his feet, and began hopping toward the finish line. His father was watching from the grandstands. Seeing his son fall, he jumped over the fence and ran to his son. And there arm and arm, he helped his son finish the face.

We have a relationship with our heavenly father just like that. We are running the race of our lives. The race away from the devil. The race toward righteousness. Away from sin and toward glory. But often we come up short. We fall. We try to get up. We face pain and disappointment.

And we have a heavenly father who will jump out of the stands, to help us finish the race. Persevere, and run the good race. And when you fall, look to the Father.

Here is the actual video of that race.

To read more on this exciting true story of Derek Redmond, click here.

Acts 20:24 -- However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

2 Timothy 4:7 -- I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Hebrews 12:1 -- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.


The Patterson 5 said...

Everytime I hear about this it brings tears to my eyes. As parents we have amazing love for our children and want to help them in all their "races". Our Father's love is immesurably more than that love, more than we can even imagine. You talked a few days ago about rewards and doesn't God deserve the rewards-perhaps His reward is when we finish the race, no matter if we finish first or last, just that we finish and finish it well. Thanks for your inspiration today! It encourages me to Press on to the goal marked out before me in Jesus! Philippians 3:14

beverlydru said...

This made me cry too... while encouraging and lifting me up! (Only women could understand this phenomenon, I'm thinking) What an awesome story.

Just the word I needed this morning. Thanks.

Sue J said...

Sometime, we need to have a story to help us understand Scripture. It's really hard to read the Philippians passages and think that perseverance is even possible!

So, stories like Redmond's are inspiring and help us by giving us a word picture that we can remember. (Jesus knew a thing or two about's something about how we think and remember.)

Tammy R said...

Watching this video brought tears to my eyes.You have encouraged me to put on my running shoes and pray:

Father,help me to finish this race that You have called me to run.

My ADHD Me said...

I don't need to tell you how I felt watching this video and reading the story that you linked. You know how I feel about things like this.
And yes, it IS awesome that there is someone there helping us make it to the finish line. We would never make it without him.

Susan said...

I absolutely love the personal stories that often surround the Olympics. Thanks for reminding us of this remarkable story and its connection to our faith.

:-) Susan

Juri said...

Wow, I stumbled on your blog today and was so glad I did! This post brought tears to my eyes. I can think back over my life to how many times I had to "limp to the finish line" with only the Lord to lean on and help me! Thank you for this wonderful reminder!


HisPrincess said...

Thankyou Kelly.

I will keep perservering...but pray that it will be over soon!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Oh Kelly, you have hit the mark again. Thanks for the encouragement to press on. Running and racing are such apt analogies for our lives as followers of Christ. I'm so glad Paul pointed it out first.