If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You; Then it’s Too Small

9 10 2016

He looked so out of place when you took in the field of participants who had come to Rock _ncompete that day. The majority were well seasoned athletes with slim, hardened muscular bodies well prepared for the grueling triathlon that would soon begin. But this gentleman was 80, and looked more fit for a brisk walk than he did a near mile swim, 26-mile bike ride and finally a 10K run. Of course there I was, in my mid 50s and had given up a daily habit of 2 ½ pack of cigarettes just a few years earlier; yep I’m sure I looked just as out of place as this brother did. Still I was curious, as I am with most folks I meet, and wanted to know his story.

“I have an apartment where a portion of the Chicago Marathon route goes past every year. As I watched the thousands that ran past my window each time I would say to myself, someday I’m going to do that. Well, I was able to retire at 58 and the first thing I did was buy some running shoes and got started. I had a lot to learn since I’d never done any physical sports before so the next step was joining a runner’s club where I picked up a lot of helpful advice. I’ll tell ya, even though I trained hard for months I was scared to death the day I put on my bib number and took my place waiting for the start of the race; but this had been my dream and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. It wasn’t pretty but I never quit running and finished the race, and I’ve been running ever since.” “That’s so awesome” I responded, “I imagine running Chicago is the highlight of your running career.” With a smile he answered, “Yes, it was a highlight, but so was New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Boston.” “Oh my goodness! You’ve done all that plus these triathlons?” “Oh I do these to train for Iron Man competitions; I try to get two in a year.” Now I just stood there and stared wondering if he was pulling my let a little. An Iron Man is approximately 2-mile swim, 113-mile bike and 26-mile run and by his calculations he had done over 30 of those. He summed up our conversation by proclaiming “I’m living the dream!”

When I got home that evening I Googled this man’s name; sure enough he had done all he said, and more. Still the question lingered; what makes a man in his 50s take up such a grueling lifestyle and continue with it over the next 30 years. Well his words came back to me; “I’m living the dream.”

Mark Batterson put like this, “If your dream doesn’t scare you, then it’s too small.”

My friend had a dream, a desire to be a runner even though he was passed the age when most people usually begin such an endeavor. But he believed he could accomplish this feat to a higher level than anyone his age had ever done.

I believe God places inside each of us not only a desire but an ability to reach goals we, and probably others, never imagined. As a boy I never learned to read until I was 12 and was treated by some as being too ignorant to ever accomplish anything, which in turn led me to believe the same; I wasn’t smart enough so why try? But through the encouragement of ones who believed and saw something more, I was able to overcome the reading deficit and as anyone who reads my blog can attest, draw great pleasure from writing. But if I’m going to believe what God says about Himself then I should do the same with what He says about me.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight”

When we commit our ways and our wants (our dreams if you please) to God He is more than ready to guide us if we are ready to trust Him. I believe God has called me to be a writer so I commit it all to Him. And what is my dream? Well to someday write a novel or something that will be a million seller. I know it sounds way over the top. But that’s what I’m bringing to the altar, that’s what I’m giving to my Lord; and that’s what I will continue to trust Him for. Once again, “If your dream doesn’t scare you, then it’s too small.”

So what’s your dream, are you still pursuing it or have you given up, beaten down by a world that tells you to stop and get on with a real life? Well, God says bring them to me and let’s see what we can do together on that dream of yours. Just a thought.

My latest “Traveler of the Rock Road” would be in his 90s now and I won’t be surprised if he’s still out there making tracks. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet up again at another tri; and maybe this time I can beat that old cotton picker!! Yeah, I know; probably not!

See ya next time.




One response

14 10 2016
Beverly Crane

This is a very inspiring story. I just wanted to shout “you can do it John”. I am looking very forward to that novel.

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