Scotland’s Olympic champion runner Eric Liddell from “Chariots of Fire” was once asked this: “Where does the power come from to see the race to its end?” His response was to say: “From within.”
The call to courage comes differently to each of us. However, what it requires is always the same. It requires everything.
Since my accident, I have learned that survival requires me to change my perspective, re-align my intentions, re-design my vision, and re-evaluate my priorities. It demands that I lose my pride and discard my blame.
You may be looking at closed doors that were once open to you, opportunities that gave your life meaning and value. You may feel that you are at the end of your resources. Your life may be changing and redirecting in ways that you find confusing, disturbing, and discouraging.
If the burdens in your life feel like a one-ton weight on your shoulders, I can emphasize with every moment of your suffering. I also know that what awaits you on the other side of this challenge far surpasses the sum of any singular event.
In a private battle between fear and courage there is always a struggle. Many of us have faced unbeatable odds. To survive these tough times requires us to grasp something which in other moments seems unclear – courage.
Ronald Reagan masterfully put those moments into perspective when he said, “One day, what has seemed to be an unbearable blow is revealed as having marked a turning point or a start leading to something worthwhile.”
As a country, citizens ache to hear news that will assure us that we can survive disasters, both natural and man made. We’re hungry for something bigger than ourselves and for answers to our struggles. A growing number of people hunger, not for food or physical nourishment, but for something that will make them feel that the country is strong, that they are strong.
Tough times come; moments of intense crisis. And then, just when we feel that we cannot hold on any longer, when we do not know our strength or the strength of our faith, hope arrives as it did for me when Shondell arrived; followed by those policemen and firemen who managed to move the bale of hay from my head and shoulders, saving my life.
I truly believe if we hold fast to our faith and hold firmly to hope, our destiny will be answered.
“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.“ – Martin Luther King, Jr.