Overcoming obstacles

Think a minute…Jesse Owens was a world-class athlete in track and field in the 1930’s. He was told that because he was a black, African American, there was no way he could win against the white Nazi German athletes at the world Olympics in 1936. 

That year the Olympics were held in Berlin, Germany. Adolf Hitler, the Nazi dictator, refused to even look at the African American athletes. The white German athletes were praised and cheered on the field, while Jesse Owens and the other American athletes were insulted and ignored. Yet Jesse did not let Hitler’s cruel, evil prejudice intimidate or stop him. In fact, he was determined more than ever to reach his goal of doing his very best. Remember, “One of the great joys in life is doing what people say you can’t.”

Jesse made mistakes in his first two long jumps, but he did not let that discourage him. Then, on his last jump, Jesse won! He went on to win all three other events in which he competed.  So Jesse Owens came home to America with a record four Olympic Gold Medals!     

A Japanese proverb says:  “If you fall down seven times, stand up eight times.”  We all fail and fall down. That’s OK. But to stay down and not try to get up again is what’s sad and serious, because you give up hope. Remember: “We all fail—at least the best of us who are brave enough to try something new.” So just because you may lose sometimes does not mean you are a loser. The famous inventor Thomas Edison said:  “Many people who failed in life did not know how close they were to success when they quit trying.”  

When challenges come your way, including when you fail, you still have the choice to keep going and reach your goal. “What you do with a great opportunity depends on what you already are; and what you already are depends on your years of daily choices.”

This is why we need Jesus to develop in each of us His inner strength and perseverance that is greater than any obstacle we face. You will never regret asking Him to take full charge of your heart and way of living from this day forward. Just think a minute… 


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