Can we be clear right up front about three things?
- Brokenness is a new beginning not a final ending.
- Broken does not mean beaten.
- Your past mistakes don’t undermine your future potential.
Recall with me the first 400 meter semi-final heat of the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona Spain. In fact, it’s the only moment I recall from those games and it was a defining moment.
It was such a defining moment I don’t even remember who won the race that day but I do remember one runner, Derek Redmond. Why do I remember him? Because he didn’t quit when he was broken.
Redmond tore his hamstring in the middle of the race and fell to his knees. The audience gasped and fell silent…until…Redmond got up. I’m sure they must have been thinking, “what the heck is he doing? He can’t win?”
But with each hobbled step Redmond took, the crowd grew louder, and louder, cheering him on. They were witnessing what we “in the church” like to call perseverance.
I’m sure there were some that day that mumbled, “What is he doing? Idiot, just stay down. You already lost. What’s the point of getting up if you can’t win?” Well, maybe it’s time to redefine “win.”
You know, occasionally well meaning people will tell you, you can’t win once you have fallen, once you are broken. In fact, there may be an audible gasp followed by silence but get up, get up and keep going. There may even be some that want you to stay down and may mumble under their breath, “Whats the point?”
Sometimes we, “in the church,” get so focused on some finish line that we forget the journey around the track. Why is that?
I like the lyrics to the song, Get Back Up, by Tobymac
We lose our way,
We get back up again
It's never too late to get back up again,
One day you will shine again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever
Did Redmond win the race? I guess it depends on your definition of “win.” If your definition of winning is to come in first and get a gold medal. Then, no, no medal, no podium. In fact, if you look up the official race results it doesn’t even credit Redmond with finishing. Officially it says, “Race Abandoned.”
“Race Abandoned?” Nothing could be farther from the truth. He didn’t abandon the race he conquered it and showed resilience, perseverance and determination in the process and in so doing set an example for the thousands that were watching.
If your definition of winning involves the journey, not the finish line then yes, Redmond won because he didn’t give up and he got up, even when he was broken. He was broken but he was not beaten, and neither are you!
I think many people today who have experienced brokenness in their life feel like they can’t cross the finish line well. You can! IF, you Get up, embrace your brokenness and keep going.
Each time he said, My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLS
Yes, get back up, embrace your weakness, let Christ’s power dwell in you, walk with a limp proudly and inspire others to do the same! You are still in the race, despite what others may have mumbled, and when you finish you will finish well because it’s in your heart to do so. To be persistent, to be tenacious, to keep moving forward toward the finish line without giving up. You are still in the race and you are a winning today!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com Image ID: 269362646 Copyright: vlad.georgescu