April 2010

Persevering to the end.

Story of the day: Persevering to the end.

It was a fog-shrouded morning, July 4, 1952, when a young woman named Florence Chadwick waded into the water off Catalina Island. She intended to swim the channel from the island to the California coast. Long-distance swimming was not new to her; she had been the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.

The water was numbing cold that day. The fog was so thick she could hardly see the boats in her party. Several times sharks had to be driven away with rifle fire. She swam more than fifteen hours before she asked to be taken out of the water. Her trainer tried to encourage her to swim on since they were so close to land, but when Florence looked, all she saw was fog. So she quit…only one-half mile from her goal.

Later she said, “I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen the land, I might have made it.” It wasn’t the cold or fear or exhaustion that cause Florence Chadwick to fail. It was the fog.

Many times we too fail, not because we’re afraid or because of peer pressure or because anything other than the fact that we lose sight of the goal. Two months after her failure, Florence Chadwick walked off the same beach into the same channel and swam the distance, setting a new speed record, because she could see the land. [Larson, Craig. 750 Engaging Illustrations. Grand Rapids: Baker Books Publishing. 1996. pg.198-199]

Quote of the day: Author Unknown

“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.'”

Bible verse of the day: Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Whatever my fog may be in my life, I pray to continue on no matter if I can see the finish line with my eyes or not. My faith is placed solely in You even in the things that I can’t see, and because of this, I will press toward the goal that You have set before me. When I get tired and I am wanting to throw in towel, it is Your Strength that sees me through and helps me to complete the small tasks leading up to the greater prize of Your Calling through Your Son Jesus. Thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

June 2008

Finish the race

Story of the day:  Finish the race

At 7 P.M. on October 20, 1968, a few thousand spectators remained in the Mexico City Olympic Stadium.  It was cool and dark.  The last of the marathon runners, each exhausted, were being carried off to first-aid stations.  More than an hour earlier, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia–looking as fresh as when he started the race–crossed the finish line, the winner of the 26-mile, 385-yard event.

As the remaining spectators prepared to leave, those sitting near the marathon gates suddenly heard the sound of sirens and police whistles.  All eyes turned to the gate.  A lone figure wearing number 36 and the colors of Tanzania entered the stadium.  His name was John Stephen Akhwari.  He was the last man to finish the marathon.  He had fallen during the race and injured his knee and ankle.  Now, with his leg bloodied and bandaged, he grimaced with each hobbling step around the 400-meter track.

The spectators rose and applauded him.  After crossing the finish line, Akhwari slowly walked off the field.  Later, a reporter asked Akhwari the question on everyone’s mind:  “Why did you continue the race after you were so badly injured?”

He replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race.  They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.”  [Wes Thompson]

Quote of the day:  V. Raymond Edman

“It is always too soon to quit.”

Bible verse of the day:  Hebrews 12:1

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I know sometimes finishing a race can be challenging.  But as any runner knows, it is very rewarding once you cross the finish line.  Father, give me the strength and energy to persevere to the very end.  I pray to know when distractions come my way to remember that they are only distractions and to not lose focus on what You have called me to do.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen