Tonight, we are again blessed by the writings of my former colleague, Joe Widick of Lebanon, Tennessee. Please pray for my mission in Vietnam!
One of the most graceful of all the competitions in the winter Olympics is figure skating. I have only been on ice skates once in my life. I found it challenging to stand much less skate. After some effort, I was able to glide around the rink. It was a good feeling to be gliding on that thin blade. Then I guess I remembered how thin the blade was and down I went again. I say all of this because of a story I recently read.
Paul Wylie was skating in the 1988 Winter Olympics at Calgary. Like most in the competition, he was nervous. The arena he was skating in held 20,000. There were millions of people who were watching around the world on TV. All would be watching his every move. Paul recalls how everything got off to a good start until he went into his first jump. It was there that something went wrong. He stated; “A flash later my hand touches the ice; the blade will not hold. I started slipping and realized quickly that I was falling. All I could hear as I collapsed to the ice was the empathetic groan of what seemed like a million voices.”
One never knows how they will respond in the split instant that followed. Paul Wylie could focus on the mistake he had made and give up or he could keep on skating and do his very best. Instantly without thought he continued his routine and decided that he would give his very best throughout the remainder of the program. When he brought the program to a close the crowd burst into enthusiastic applause for his courage and determination. He didn’t win the gold medal, but he was a winner.
As followers of Christ, we may be knocked off our feet by a powerful blow. It may be by the death of a loved one. We may lose a job, or we may be overlooked for that much wanted promotion. We may find ourselves in dismay and fall into Satan’s snare. What we need to remember though is; it is one thing to fall; it’s quite another to give up. What happens if we get up again? I believe that we will reaffirm our faith in Christ and as we do that, we find ourselves continuing to serve him. The psalmist penned these words many years ago. As you read them, realize that their stated truths are as real as when they were originally penned. “Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord holds him with His hand.” It has been stated that success consists of getting up just one more time than you’ve fallen down. Let each of us be determined to get up one more time, because success is failure turned inside out. It is the silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
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