We celebrate a milestone this weekend. It was fifty years ago, on July 20, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first stepped foot onto the surface of the moon. With the advancement of technology since then, today this doesn’t seem like an impossible task. But it sure did when John F Kennedy boldly declared:
“We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.”
When this challenge was put forth, it wasn’t entirely clear if a moon landing was feasible. The program was almost scrapped when astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were tragically killed in preparation for the Apollo I launch. It was clear that achieving the goal set forth by JFK was not going to be an easy task. It took determination, hard work, training and even some setbacks, to make a once impossible task became a reality.
Hebrews 12:3 states “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Our lives are not always easy. We face many challenges, but that doesn’t mean we have failed. Failure occurs when we give up, not when something doesn’t go to our plan. God is training us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us”.
I think back to my high school football days. Our team wasn’t the most skilled. We didn’t have any top-rated players. Everything we lacked, though, we made up with conditioning. Now this was not our decision as players. We would have all been much happier running plays and not just RUNNING! Through year of coaching though, our coaches realized the importance of building up our endurance. Our team ended up going 7-2 my senior year and won the conference title. Looking back, I firmly believe that the credit for this belongs with the coaches who pushed us to train harder, even when we wanted to quit. We won games that season by outlasting our opponents. When they started getting weary in the 4thquarter, we took advantage of our ability to keep pushing up to the last whistle.
My encouragement to you, as you read this, is to keep your eyes on the prize Jesus has set for you. The space program kept their eyes on JFK’s challenge. My former coaches looked at a long season ahead and equipped us. God is preparing us for the marathon of a life lived for Him, not just a short sprint. Although we sometimes face hardships, one day we will be able to look back at those moments and see them as steppingstones along God’s path for our life.
Christ’s peace be with you,