Earlier this month, I had the joy of watching a live broadcast of the Berlin marathon. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to watch, as history was made that day! Kenyan runner, Eliud Kipchoge, ran the race of his life and absolutely smashed the world record. It was touching to watch his face as he soared across the finish line, the reward of many years of hard work and dedication. But the thing that really touched me was the post-race interview. When asked to share a few words on his victory and his new world record he said, “I have only one word - gratitude”.
What an incredible response! Just at the moment when he could have boasted about his own talent, when he could have reminded the world about all the hard work he’d put in, said “I’m the greatest”, or could have gloated unashamedly about his talent, he decided to express his gratitude to everyone who’d helped him achieve this goal. His genuine, heart-felt modesty touched me deeply, as, undoubtedly, many others.
The rest of that day, I was thinking about the example this man had set. Kipchoge obviously trained hard and made every effort to hone his talents. This level of commitment and dedication to a single goal can only be admired. But, in the midst of world-wide renown and incredible success, he didn’t seem to have lost sight of the things that are even more important, having an honourable character. Being thankful and modest makes this world-class athlete not only awe-inspiring, but also immensely likeable.
It’s unlikely that any of us will ever be able to run anywhere near as fast as Kipchoge. But, thankfully, we don’t have to! We are, however, required to work on developing our own gifts and talents, which for each of us will look different from anyone else’s. And one thing we can all attain to, and need to aspire to, is having that richness of character. If we have that depth of humility, honesty and gratitude, we’ll be able to bear the weight, not only of our failures, but also of our successes.
After seeing Kipchoge’s record-breaking run, and his subsequent words, I feel inspired to pursue being the best I can be. Perhaps there are examples you can think of which inspire you. And, if God grants us success in our endeavours, may we all have the humility to thank the people who helped us along the way. But, more importantly, may we thank and point to our God and Saviour, who’s helping us along every step of our life’s journeys.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, will You please help me to not only grow in my abilities, but also to have an ongoing deepening of my character along the way. As I grow in myself, will YOU grow Christ in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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