Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways - Proverbs 4:25-26
As many of you, I am watching the Olympics on a nightly basis (and getting to bed late as a result!). The other night, I watched the men's 400 meter final. The winner, Wayde Van Niekerk, has a remarkable story. He is from South Africa and his mother was an outstanding athlete in her own right. Because of apartheid, she was prohibited from competing internationally. What makes his story even more fascinating was the fact that his coach was a 74 year old lady who looked more like a grandmother than a coach of a world class athlete. As I am looking at the finals, I noticed that he was starting from lane 8. This occurred as a result of his performance in the semifinals. The commentators made mention that no one had ever won a major competition starting from lane 8. The reason behind this is that you don't have an idea of what your competition is doing and how you are doing in comparison. If you've been following the Olympics, you know that Wayde not only won the gold medal, he set a new world record in the process. He broke Michael Johnson's world record that had stood for 17 years. I'm sure that Wayde probably knew the history behind being in lane 8, but he did not let that keep him from achieving his goal of winning. He stayed focused on the path in front of him. Being in lane 8, he did not have much of a choice. He could only concentrate on his performance and remain focused on what he was doing. Men, how many times have we been faced with "lane 8" moments in our life and lost focus because of the less than ideal circumstances? How many times have we felt that our performance would be affected because of where we were starting from? How many times did we basically throw in the towel as a result of our starting position? Like Wayde Van Niekerk, we need to focus on keeping our gaze straight ahead and pursue our God given goals with the talent that He provides us and not focus on where we are starting. If we are on the paths that God has set us on (even if it's lane 8 and it doesn't seem ideal), we can indeed be successful.
ACTION PLAN: START BY TAKING INVENTORY AND APPRECIATING YOUR GOD GIVEN TALENTS AND ABILITIES . FOCUS YOUR GAZE ON THE GOAL AHEAD OF YOU AND NOT YOUR STARTING POSITION.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.