Have you ever had the feeling that, no matter how hard you try to get ahead, life keeps coming at you? It’s like the track runner who clears one hurdle just to jump over the next one. If he misses, it’s a painful experience.
I tried track for one year when I was about 14 years old. The poor track coach didn’t really know what to do with me. I wasn’t fast enough for the sprints, didn't have the lungs for the mile or even half-mile. I had crossed eyes and was skinny enough to be blown away whenever the wind picked up.
He finally decided to have me practice the hurdles and the pole vault. Boy, was that a mistake… First, my one and only hurdle race in a track meet was a dismal failure. On the very first hurdle I got my foot stuck at the top and then fell over, while running at full speed, right onto an asphalt surface.
The pole vault wasn’t any better. I only managed to learn how to run with the pole because, the one time I tried to plant it, well, it wasn’t good either. Needless to say, track wasn’t what I was born to do. But, it did teach me some valuable lessons.
Learning the hard way can be tough. Sometimes, though, it’s the best way to learn (especially for some of us more stubborn minded people). Sure, we have our calendar set, our emails going, our time laid out for the week, and everything planned out. Then, out of seemingly nowhere, another hurdle comes along.
In my experience, it’s the hard times that get us through the hard times: not the good times. The hard times we live through teach us all lessons we can apply when the next hard time (hurdle) comes along. We may have fallen, scraped our knee, or blew out our ankle, but, when we get back up and try again, we’ll be readier than we were before.
The Bible has a great verse that sums up what I’m saying today in James chapter 1:1-4:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything…
Those hurdles we face in life all work together to make us stronger, more mature, and complete. It’s the challenges in life that make us stronger, not the good times. I enjoy the good times, but, without the tough times, the good times just wouldn’t seem so good...
So, the next hurdle you face that comes along when life seems to be going as planned, may be the hurdle that makes you even stronger so that you can face an even bigger one further down the track of life. I don’t look forward to those hurdles, but I know they’re going to make be a better man in the end. And they will for you too.
Blessings my friends!