And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
In February 1988, the eyes of the world were on Calgary, Alberta, as the world’s elite athletes descended there for the Winter Olympics. And while national anthems were played and medals of gold, silver and bronze were awarded, two of the biggest stories had nothing to do with anthems or medals – rather, they were for the lack of both of those.
These heroes didn’t win any medals. By most standards, they weren’t even good at what they did. The establishment often tried to keep them out. But in the end, they achieved their goals and triumphed in ways that makes us remember them today.
Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards was a talented downhill skier who wasn’t quite good enough to make Great Britain’s ski team. Still, he had an Olympic dream, and he kept pursuing it in spite of a lack of funding or sponsorship. Eventually, he switched to ski jumping, even though he had no experience (and little talent) for that. He had poor equipment, was too heavy and was extremely farsighted. And still he worked and trained and eventually qualified for the 1988 Winter Olympics as Great Britain’s only ski jumper. Eddie finished dead last in both ski jumping events, but he gained fame as someone who never gave up in the face of impossible odds.
At those same Olympics were competitors from a most unlikely nation. The average temperature in February in Calgary is -6 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the average temperature in Jamaica is 77 degrees. Still, a determined group of Jamaicans worked to put together the country’s first bobsled team. Like Eddie, they had no experience and very little funding. Still, they never gave up and eventually qualified for the Calgary Olympics. There, the outcome was predictable. The team finished 30th in the two-man event and didn’t finish in the four-man event. But their effort inspired the world, as well as others in Jamaica. Since 1988, the country has placed bobsled teams in five of the seven subsequent Winter Olympics.
Persistence is a godly virtue, and the Lord loves it when we persist, even in the face of impossible odds. So often, we won’t even try unless we’re guaranteed a positive outcome. But the Lord wants us to try – to persist – no matter the outcome. Leave the results to him – our job is simply to keep pressing ahead.
Today, do what you know is right in every circumstance. If your circumstances are difficult, press in even harder, and thank the Lord for the opportunity. The world may never take notice, but the Lord and Heaven will cheer as you persist in doing good.
Reflection copyright © 2016 Doug DeBolt.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.