Key Word:- PERSEVERE
Title:- From Backside to Flipside
2 Peter 1:5-8….add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Along with thousands of others today and in the future, I will be writing of the extraordinary scenes in the Athens 2004 Olympics concerning the young American, Mr Paul Hamm and his amazing achievement of being the first American to win the all round Gymnastics Gold Medal. How he did it, was high drama indeed!
I can’t imagine the years of training that go into preparing for such an event. Out of six disciplines, after the third, Hamm was on the top of the leader board. A Gold medal was expected of him and was in his grasp. Disaster struck in his fourth discipline of the Vault. Failing to rotate well enough, he landed to the side, the impact causing him to topple off the mat and land flat on his bottom right in front of the shaken judges and unbelieving crowd! Hamm, in an instant plummeted from 1st to 12th place. At this point if he could summon the wherewithal to exceed expectations in his performance on the final two disciplines, then maybe, with a miracle, just maybe, he might achieve a bronze medal. That alone would be quite a comeback.
Whilst sitting flat on his bottom, cameras and commentators zoomed into the blank and staring eyes of Hamm, speculating on the raging storm of doubt, disbelief and shocking disappointment that must have been wreaking havoc along the coastlands of his soul and even laying waist to the inlands of his spirit. It was cataclysmic, it was catastrophic, it was awful.
Somehow and I don’t how, Hamm managed to attack the final two events of parallel and high bars with such glorious and determined precision, that onlookers were shocked that such audacity and determination should come from someone who just earlier had landed on their embarrassed backside before the judges and the watching world. The near perfection of his final performances meant that Hamm shot from 12th to 1st place winning Gold by the slimmest of recorded margins, 0.012. Now, just how utterly amazing is that!
One hour after being crowned Olympic champion Hamm made the following remarks. “I'm very happy right now,……I was so angry at myself after I'd missed the vault. I had worked years for that moment, and it all went down the drain. ……And then I had the best performance of my life on high bar. I'm proud of myself. I realized my dream. And I never, never, never gave up.”
Friend, don’t give up! Skin that cat a different way maybe, but don’t give up. Find a different angle of attack maybe, but don’t give up! Cast your net on the other side of the boat maybe, but don’t give up. The gold medal is always possible even if it’s by the slimmest of margins, even if it’s by the skin of your teeth, so today; don’t give up! Go Hamm it up! Yes, be determined to find the perfect better way.
Listen:- And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9
Pray: - Lord, I am more than an Olympian, for You have made me more than a conqueror through Your love and Your sacrifice. How then can I not persevere? So heal me, so help me, so infuse me, so empower me, so change me, that I would indeed persevere to the final victory. In Jesus name I pray, amen.