Happy Elevated Friday! Today we highlight a story of courage, endurance, and a focus on just getting a little better each day. This coming weekens Chris Nikic of Florida will become the first person with Down’s Syndrome to complete a full Ironman race. This race, widely heralded as one of the toughest races on the planet, consists of a 2.4 mile open water swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run (a full marathon). Chris is no natural athlete and has faced his share of challenges in life. He had open-heart surgery at 5 months old, was not able to walk until age 4, or eat solid foods until age 5, in addition to further challenges since. But that has not stopped Chris, who has taken the mantra: Just get 1% better everyday. And everyday, he does; rising at 5 am for grueling workouts, each day going a little farther or a little faster. Such an incredible achievement is only outweighed by his incredible outlook on life. Chris truly understands the key to success: setting a goal and working diligently to incrementally get closer to it. Please join Elevated Discourse is cheering on Chris tomorrow as he races!
Incremental gain is a goal often lost in society today. We see (or seemingly see) so many find success overnight and fewer and fewer people are committing to the long-term diligence it takes to reach a goal. We also fail to celebrate the small successes along the way as positively as our end goal. God sees us as flawed people who are capable of great things when we follow the path He sets before us. It is in those small steps along the way that we get to know Him, see ourselves change for the better, connect in meaningful relationships with others, and eventually, arrive at His destination for us. A life well-lived doesn’t focus only on the end goals; it relishes the steps along the way. When we focus on just God’s next step for of us – just the next 1% of our lives -- life is far more blessed. Hebrews says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Today, set aside the weight of what you feel like you should have accomplished already and instead focus only on what God tells you the next 1% step is for you.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” – Hebrews 12:1 ESV