On Tuesday, I talked about four lessons from the starting blocks. Today, I continue a new track and field series with four lessons from the hurdles. This year, Isaac ran the hurdles. It was fun watching him learn the ropes of the hurdles, and it will be interesting to see what happens as his track career continues. At the high school level, one of Hannah’s track teammates is one of the best hurdlers in the state of Pennsylvania. It was amazing to watch him compete in the hurdles at each meet. There was a grace and elegance to the way he approached each hurdle. He relentlessly attacked each hurdles until he reached the finish line victorious in each of the races I saw.
With that in mind, I’d like to suggest four things we can learn from the hurdles.
- Hurdles happen. In the 110 meter hurdles, men have to jump over 42 inch hurdles. When a runner leaves the starting block, he knows that there will be a hurdle. Life is full of hurdles. You and I will face hurdles. We are not promised a clear path to the finish line. As a matter of fact, hurdles add challenge to the race of life that could otherwise be flat and boring. A true hurdler embraces the trial that each hurdle represents. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
- It’s all about rhythm. A hurdler learns to take the same number of steps between each hurdle. It’s almost as though, he could run the race blindfolded. Developing regular disciplines and routines can be helpful as we face the trials and challenges of life. Spending time in God’s Word on a regular basis, praying, and spending time with other believers can be so beneficial in helping us when the challenges come. The prophet Isaiah writes about the importance of seeking God regularly in the morning: All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right. Isaiah 26:9
- There will be another hurdle. In the 110 meter hurdles, there are actually ten hurdles. A runner gets over a hurdle, and there’s the promise of another hurdle. In life it’s the same, we typically face more than one hurdle in life. The cool thing is that God can use each and every hurdle we face for good. The apostle Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
- Keep going. A hurdler cannot stop between hurdles. He has to keep going. When life seems too challenging, we need to rely on the strength of God. Don’t give up. Know that there is hope. It starts with the next step. One step at a time. Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31
What lessons could you add to the list above? What hurdles have you faced in life? What have you learned through these challenges?