“The Marathon” (Faith: part 1)

Undescribable!  It was the combination of sounding like an explosion, a crack, and a bang, all simultaneously rolled into one.  It kept us inside that night. I told my bride, “I am not going out there!” We waited out the residual effects of  a Hurricane named Opal in the bedroom of our tiny 50 year old house on a street called Elm, which we had purchased as a newly married couple.  Yes, that night did feel like a nightmare on Elm street. The next morning I looked out our window to discover a huge oak tree had fallen asleep on top of our neighbors’ garage.   

Since I was stumped that winds were successful in blowing down a seemingly, immovable oak tree, I did a little research.  For starters, oak trees, have an extensive root system that spreads horizontally out from the trunk, so it is not a big feat to knock ‘em down since their roots do not grow deep.  Impressive and tall on the outside, but they are not always able to withstand ferocious winds.

We tend to idolize men and women who seem to have the unshakable faith of Gibraltar.  Listen to what L.B. Cowman stated in the classic Streams in the Desert: “When you see a spiritual giant, think of the road over which he has traveled, not the sunny lane where wildflowers ever bloom, but a steep, rocky narrow pathway where the blasts of hell will almost blow you off your feet!  God of the sun and rain, Thou who dost measure the weight of wind, fit us for stress and strain!”


Who hasn’t been knocked down by shocking circumstances in life?  In the movie Chariots of Fire, the late actor Ian Charleson portrayed runner Eric Liddell, who was purposely knocked down by a fellow sprinter while he was competing in a race.  What did Eric do? In the film, he got back up, and got back in the race and…won!


chariots of fire back in the race.jpg     

Winds of change do not discriminate.  How many people never get back up because they cannot get over the hurdle of painful cards dealt to them?  In my entire working career since the 7th grade (when I was a paperboy) I have only been let go or fired or terminated one time.  Nonetheless, it was still a hard blow, like when I was told I have CAD (Coronary Artery Disease) resulting in an 8-inch scar on my chest.  

From his book Galatians, Paul asks a hard question (in chapter 5 verse 7) “You were running a good race.  Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? I have wanted to get out of the race God uniquely called me to due to some negative church experiences.  That has been the greatest test of my faith, but I didn’t leave as I realized my experiences became my excuses. How would you honestly answer Paul’s question? Will you trust God with the outcome of “your” race?

chariots of fire winning.jpg

pictures courtesy of “Nelson & His Nikon” except for Chariots of Fire photos, as I took those from my TV while watching DVD clips from the movie.

2 thoughts on ““The Marathon” (Faith: part 1)

  1. Nelson, I enjoyed your devotionals They are current, easy to read and very applicable. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This has come at a time when I most desperately need it! Bless you Nelson for allowing God to speak through you. I love you!

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About nelsonhaynes500words

My name is William-Nelson-Haynes. I mentioned my full name because I want to share more than just two-thirds of me. Since life is a journey, it is my hope that this blog keeps you from feeling alone. Please check out my background, education and experience in "The Writer" part of the Menu on the top left-hand corner of the home page. Other Menu items you can scroll through are the Authors who influenced me, Magazine Articles I write for Good News Magazine, the Top 15 books that affected me spiritually, and the other hobbies that also make me come alive.