The founder and national director of
Team World Vision is a man by the name of Michael Chitwood. Last year, Chitwood published a book titled “The Ability To Endure,” chronicaling his life story and the inspiration behind Team World Vision. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book, “To go into the dark places where the hopeless spend their lives can be tiring. But we should never grow weary in our efforts to love others. No, we should go into those places and pursue people with the same unrelenting love with which God our Father pursues us…..it is then that we can see ourselves not as better than those who struggle in hopelessness, but rather on level ground with them. Then our hearts will break for them in such a way that it will motivate is to love them unconditionally,”
Powerful huh? Unrelenting love. I like that.
Here is another quote in his book from an anonymous source, “The race does not always go to the swift, but to the ones who
Relentless forward motion.
I have always admired sprinters. Watching an elite sprinter race is quite a performance of strength, power, agility and grace. Their speed and form carry an essence of regality I find mesmerizing. The fanfare, the fast-paced atmosphere, the variety, the excitement are all fun to experience. Often, we face life’s hurdles with a track and field type mindset. We gear up for a quick race, ready to deal with pain, suffering, disease in hopes of a nearby finish line complete with cheering crowds, Gatorade and bananas to reenergize with. We gear up for a sprint, we hope for a sprint. We go all out for an idea, we excellerate, we strive, we stride out.
Do we finish? Do we maintain the same grit and determination when our muscles grow tired and weak? When the excitement fades? The truth is, life is much more like a marathon than a track meet. Life isn’t glamorous. We don’t have crowds cheering at every 100m mark. Instead, life is muddy and life is hilly. It can be lonely, it can seem hopeless.
During the week I run on my own. I run without music and I often run with only a rough sketch of a route to follow, enjoying the freedom of allowing my feet to explore the city. Sometimes I enjoy my runs. Sometimes I feel exhilarated, powerful, strong. Sometimes I have a lot on my mind and my run passes quickly while I process my thoughts. Sometimes however, my run is painful, sore, weary. Sometimes I constantly look at the time on my watch, wishing for the seconds to speed up. Sometimes I have to resort to mind tactics and tricks to motivate myself to finish. These runs are the ones however, that best prepare me for the marathon. These runs give me confidence that I can and will complete the race, no matter the weather, no matter my mood, no matter my energy level. It’s from these hard runs I develop the determination and physical and mental strength necessary to complete 26.2miles. Because over the course of 26.2 miles, I won’t always feel excited or inspired. Because over 26.2 miles I will hurt, feel discouraged, ache for rest. It’s in those moments however, when I can look back at the collective accomplishments of my teammates and supporters and realize our cause is so much more than the momentary pain I am in. Our cause saves lives. Therefore I will embrace my body’s shifted proportion of slow-twitch muscle fibers and gear up to endure. Because ending the clean water crisis has become a lifelong passion. Because I believe every child is worth clean water and those without deserve our relentless efforts. Equipped with ambition, determination, challenge and grit, I will finish. My goal isn’t to be the fastest, smartest, prettiest, most talented. My goal is to change 200lives. See you at the finish line. http://www.teamworldvision.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=53475