What if your heart burned so fervently that you were willing to do anything to be who you wanted to be... who you were destined to be?
Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." - Walter Elliott
There are a lot of reasons why we don’t succeed. Most of my excuses have been to the tune of “I’m tired; I tried my best; I don’t have time; I’m only human; and I needed a break”… and so on.
Perhaps you’ve used some of these same excuses. You know, it's great to have dreams in life, but, hey, you also need to be realistic… right?
Because sometimes you have to realize that you actually can't make it; that it's better to lower your expectations so that you don't get your hopes up and wind up disappointed.
Sometimes, when your fantasies are unrealistic, you need to be prudent. You need to let your dreams — let's admit it, they were "crazy dreams" — pass on by, so that you can grow up and be an adult and be responsible.
Like, for example, if you wanted to be a world champion athlete… like Kickboxer, but, during a difficult childbirth, your right arm had been entangled with your umbilical cord and been amputated below the elbow. And that left you with just one hand.
But what if you were born with just one arm. Then, you know, it's pretty obvious that you… well, you just can't be a Kickboxer?
Wouldn’t it be the right thing to simply trim your dreams in life to match your abilities? It’s pretty clear that we MUST accept the cards we are dealt and just live life the best we can… right?
With only one arm, it would not be a stretch to think that you could easily justify an entitled existence with one excuse after another detailing the reasons you couldn’t accomplish greatness, or even usefulness in life.
But what if were willing to do anything — work out in any gym, run any number of miles on the back roads, jump as much rope as your father would turn for you? What if your heart burned so fervently that you were willing to do anything to be who you wanted to be... who you were destined to be?
So what if you didn’t care that you only had one arm. But instead, because you were born with purpose, and you are filled with vision and passion, you defeat, not just your opponents, but every excuse the world ever tried impose upon you.
Enter Mr. Baxter Humby, “The One Armed Bandit”. Baxter has won over 15 kickboxing and Muay Thai titles, including: Canadian Super Welterweight Kickboxing Champion, IMTC World Middleweight Champion, IKBA International Kickboxing Champion, and IKKC USA Kickboxing Champion. You can see Baxter Humby, World Super Welterweight Champion, for yourself at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqIgsPpirHY . It’s a terrific first round knockout over Zidov Domenik at the Muay Thai Premier League “Stars and Stripes” event. MR. Humby successfully defended his WMC Intercontinental Championship.
You know, in some ways, when Baxter steps into the ring it's a totally unfair fight. Sure, the other guy has more hands, but Baxter has more heart. Guess who wins in life?
The Apostle Paul encouraged a group of people who had every excuse to give up in life. The church at Corinth, simply because they loved Jesus, were stripped naked and beaten in the streets, had their homes destroyed, lived in pitch black caverns, and watched as their children were fed to wild beasts. Wow! By our standards, they had every reason to concede and simply accept defeat.
But Paul said to them in the midst of all the murder and evil “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8 ESV)”.
Are you kidding me Paul? I can barely get through my mundane work week! He isn’t kidding…
Again, James wrote in James 1:12 that we are to run each race with steadfastness – why because then and only then will we be a true champion and receive the one and only true prize. “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
If I may, please allow me to ask you a favor this week. Write down all the reasons that you cannot be successful. Please, really, right now, take the next sixty seconds to just write down a few of those reasons that you have bonded with over the course of your life. The little whispers which tell you “You don’t have what it takes”.
Then, please take however many hands you still have, grab that little piece of paper, and rip those terrible little lies into teeny, tiny shreds. When you finally do decide to succeed, you won't be needing them anymore.
Now go out and be who you were born to be: today, tomorrow, the rest of the week, and the rest of your life. Don’t allow a maimed body, a broken heart, a rancid past, or even a stinking attitude tell you who you are. You and only you can decide that. Run the little races of today and don’t stop. This is what winning looks like… perserverence.
Hebrews 12: 1 & 2 “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
I'm rooting for you! Even better… God is too.
26 – “The Spirit helps us in our weakness.”
28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose .”
31 – “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
37 – “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”