Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Doing A Bradbury

There’s a new phrase in Australian vernacular.

When someone has been steady and consistent at their particular endeavor and unexpectedly won a victory, despite odds against him, it’s now known as “Doing a Bradbury”.

Stephen Bradbury competed in events in three Olympic games. He was a consistent failure; and then he won the gold.

It happened during the men's short track 1000 metres event at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

In the quarterfinals, Bradbury finished third but when another racer was disqualified it allowed Bradbury to advance to the semifinals.

In the semifinals Bradbury was in last place but when three of the other skaters crashed into each other he finished in second place, allowing him to advanced to the final race.

In the final race Bradbury was in dead last in the final turn. Amazingly, four of Bradbury's competitors (Apolo Ohno, Ahn Hyun-Soo, Li Jiajun and Mathieu Turcotte) fell into one another in the final turn allowing a slow and steady Bradbury to skate into the history books with his first Olympic gold medal. Bradbury returned to Brisbane with a gold medal, the first for Australia or any Southern Hemisphere country in an Olympic Winter Games event.

In an interview after winning his gold, he said: “I don't think I'll take the medal as the minute and half of the race I actually won. I'll take it as the last decade of the hard slog I put in.”

Bradbury said in another interview, “Obviously I wasn't the fastest skater. I didn’t have to be. All I had to do was stay on my skates.” ( )

There’s something to be said for staying on your skates. There is value in faithfulness.

Faithfulness is a long ago forgotten word that, despite its reputation, still holds meaning today.

Sadly we often simply give up when things get uncomfortable or inconvenient when we would have found incredible value had we been faithful and endured. There is accrued equity, not only in financial matters but also in life, from faithfulness to an endeavor.

I want to be faithful. I want to “stick it out” even when things get tough. I refuse to give up easy. Things may not be spectacular right now in this current 5.5 yard run but it will become valuable through my faithfulness! It may not seem impressive right now but those years of faithfulness will add up into something incredible!

One of the most well known and well liked Chicagoans was the late great Walter Payton. Walter Payton is arguably, one of the greatest football players of all time (if you want to have that argument, by the way, just head to
Ditka’s Restaurant on 100 East Chestnut Street downtown Chicago).

Walter Payton was the running back for the Chicago Bears from 1975 to 1987. He held the NFL record for rushing touchdowns, with 110, and the record for career rushing yards in the NFL, with 16,726 yards.

What makes these statistics amazing however, is that his average carry was 5.5 yards.

He didn’t set records with impressive 25, 30 or 50 yard carries. No, with consistency and determination he rushed 16,726 yards, 5.5 yards at a time.

I think that’s what God expects of His children. Not personality perfection or flawless Christianity. Not impressive achievements and grandiose religious endeavors but steady, consistent, faithful attention to “running the race” ( ).

I want to be faithful to God because He’s been faithful to me.

The old cliché says, “Slow and Steady wins the race.” Maybe that’s what the Preacher was talking about when he said that the race goes “not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong” ( ).

Jesus summed it up best by saying, “He that endureth to the end shall be saved.” ( ).

I don’t know about you but I feel like running on!

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