Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“I focus on this one thing:
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
Philippians 3: 13-14 (NLT)
It resonated a bit longer than all the other tripe I hear on talk radio, when a talk show host commented the other day—
“We live in a cynical world. A tough world of competitors willing to step on and over you to climb the ladders to success.”
So, how’s your day going, in the midst of that kind of world painted by that talk show host? Or maybe you live in a different world?
We still hear about him today because of his incredible career, and a life marked by disappointments, difficulties, detours and distractions, like most of our journeys, but which was fueled by a determination to rise above those. We didn’t hear quite as much about Calvin Borel—jockey and dreamer—that one year in 2007 when his horse Street Sense, after winning the first leg of the Triple Crown that year, the Kentucky Derby, lost the next race, the Preakness, and was out of the running for the coveted Triple Crown.
And that was too bad, because Calvin Borel’s life is one we should all hear about regularly. Although imperfect, like every one of our lives are, his journey through life that paints a picture of a world lived in stark contrast to the one painted by that talk show host’s remark noted above.
Calvin Borel, now fifty years old, stands 5’4’’ and weighs 116 pounds. He shares his feelings in words, at times exposing the eighth-grade education he received.
He is now officially retired, but still he is a jockey beloved by everyone. With his exemplary work ethic, he overcame broken legs and ribs, punctured lungs, a spleen removal, and a coma, riding horse after horse in race after race chasing a dream—a dream that some viewed as clearly out of his reach.
Dropping out of school after the eighth grade to pursue his dream, while living in poverty in the bayous of Louisiana, to follow his dream, his passion, he often rode barefoot and without a helmet unless one could be borrowed. The son of a sugar-cane-farmer, he rode races on the country tracks around his home of Catahoula, Louisiana, a big dream away from a ride around Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.
Yet years later, after riding in locations most of us have never even heard of, let alone been to, race after race, on tired mounts that could barely make it to the track let alone cross the finish line, Calvin rode Street Sense to victory in the Kentucky Derby. Even the Queen watched as this rather common seeming, everyday man—like so many of us—fulfilled an uncommon dream.
The truth is that we do live in a somewhat cynical and tough world. We often get discouraged when we feel like someone else able to do all we ever dreamed of doing. We’re not perfect even though at times we try to portray that we are, and are afraid to admit we’re human and frail. Failure is a difficult medicine to swallow and of which to reminded.
But in the face of all the adversity, critics and cynics, with the passing of time and the distinct chance that we may not make it, and that we may even fail—why not try anyway.
Why not dream, and get on the horse and ride anyway?
And as the years go by, we may eventually see that we may never reach that moment of which we have long dreamed.
That may be true, but should it stop us from trying anyway?
We may reach it. Or along the way, even though we come up short, we may have an impact for good along the way we never expected—in our lives and the lives of others.
So as Calvin might put it—never should any mountain, difficulty or disappointment stop us from riding anyway! Never!
You never know what might happen, and you never know what else might happen along the way.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.