I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return.”

II Timothy 4: 7-8 (NLT)

I have often dreamed of a far off place,

Where a hero’s welcome would be waiting for me,

Where the crowds will cheer when they see my face,

And a voice keeps saying this is where I’m meant to.”

Go the Distance”

(Hercules—Walt Disney Pictures)

It happened a few years ago. I saw that Ellie Kate was silently gasping for air—choking on a cracker which had lodged in her windpipe—after she bumped her head on the floor in an unceremonious conclusion to an attempt to do a cartwheel off the footstool she had been sitting on.

A few whacks with the palm of my hand on Ellie’s back while dangling her upside down from my arms dislodged the stuck cracker pieces, which led to the much-welcome sound of her crying into my shoulder.

I remember waiting anxiously throughout the early morning hours in an empty lobby of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa for the news of Ellie Kate’s birth.

Instead, the news which came was of a labored delivery and finally a Caesarean section resulting in our younger granddaughter being confined for five days in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at St Joseph’s.

Maybe that’s why today Ellie Kate does cartwheels off of footstools, scales the face of bookcases to sit on the top while the hard floor tile waits below, jumps from staircases into my arms. She’s a survivor.

Maybe that’s why she often refuses help, saying instead “I can do it.”

But that day of the cartwheel she wasn’t able to do it. She came up short. Way short.

She has before, but then I’m sure we can all identity with similar moments in our lives of coming up short. The key for all of us is—our response to those times. The key is an appreciation of our part in the bigger picture which God has painted in all of that, for all of us to embrace and understand.

The bigger picture of the life that God created us to live is a call on our lives to live, to try, to reach out, and to become all that we can be. It’s a call to adventure, not to comfort. It’s a call to be all you were created to be. It’s a call to go the distance. It’s a call for now and on into eternity.

And we can’t do it unless we begin to step out into areas and arenas we may have never been in before. And it is there, in those moments that we will have the chance to succeed, and we will also have the chance to fail. But we will have had the opportunity to be all we can be.

The story of our lives is an adventure and challenge before us—to go the distance.

So what holds us back? What obstacles in our life are keeping us from stepping out, trying a cartwheel, and going the distance? Doubt. Uncertainty. Fear.

Of course we may fail. That certainly may happen. But it may not.

Sometimes it’s our attitude that stands in our way, or some other things we need to change. Perhaps it’s the view we have of our potential—those gifts, abilities and talents we have like no one else. Maybe we need to do a better job of seeing the future God sees for us, and claiming a positive view for our future as a part of the bigger story God has written of which each of us is a part.

And God is standing in front of us with His hand extended, and with all the power of Creation pointing into the future—your future—calling you to go with Him; to go the distance, to fight the good fight with Him to the finish.

And what better way to be able to look back and say but that—

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,

and I have remained faithful.”

The next step for you to go the distance is in front of you. And so is He.

Step into your future with Him.

In His Name—Scott


Copyright 2015. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.