We traveled a total of twenty hours to watch two races and 28.76 seconds of competition.
And it was all worth it.
Our son, Justin, was competing for the last time. A senior on the Boise State track and field team, he was participating at the Mountain West Conference Championships hosted by the University of Wyoming in Laramie. He even missed the graduation ceremony at Boise State in order to compete.
It was not just a competition, but a celebration. After walking on the track team as a unheralded freshman, Justin achieved multiple all-conference honors and qualified for the NCAA regional meet. Hard work and dedication both inside and outside the classroom had reached its pinnacle.
Sometimes the Lord allows us to taste success while at the same time He is merciful in allowing us to experience disappointment. Going into his senior year with high expectations, Justin hurt his knee last fall that required surgery. Instead of sitting out the year, Justin made the decision to move on, to turn the page, and to finish the season. Along with other challenges, Justin kept responding well and working hard.
The end result? A fourth place finish in the conference championships.
It was a great way to end a career.
Life does reward a person, but it also teaches us lessons. The most important lessons involve our relationship with Christ. No matter what life throws our way, by continuing to trust in the promises of Christ always gives us an eternal perspective.
The following Bible verses were especially meaningful during our stay in Laramie.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ. Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13-14)
“Do you now know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Cor. 9:24-25)
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
When compared to heaven, nothing else matters except to finish the race. The crown of righteousness awaits. Thank you, Lord, for another amazing lesson of your goodness and grace.
It was one of the best 28.76 seconds I have ever seen.