“Miserable people wallow. They just sit there. They don’t have a “Things to Do” list, they have a “Things to Don’t” list. They don’t “go and do” they sit and stew.” (John Bytheway, How To Be Totally Miserable, p.9)
This year over 20,000 runners competed in the . It was a lot of money – a literal pot of gold to the once impoverished man and his family. The thing about Cheruiyot is though, that at one point in his life, he considered giving up on everything:
“I was supposed to kill myself because life was very hard,” he says. “I had never seen my mother, never seen my father. We were all living differently. I don’t know what made me want to kill myself. I just wanted to do it.”
Robert had no skills, no hope for the future, not even any money to feed his hunger. But one day he decided that where once he had shown some promise in soccer and long distance running, perhaps he could again. Rather than sitting and simmering over all the injustices he had experienced, he laced on some hand-me-down training shoes and went running.
While running, a driver for a local FILA camp saw Cheruiyot and invited him to the running camp. Even though his opportunities had increased, at first it was still difficult for Cheruiyot to make the necessary changes. His trainers were concerned that he ate more than he ran. Cheruiyot was at another crossroads; he could make a life change from this new opportunity, or he could sit and wallow because after all, life had never been kind to him.
What did Robert Cheruiyot decide to do? He decided to run. He ran and ran … running his way into an $80,000 purse in 2006 and a $100,000 purse in 2007. When asked if he sensed a divine hand in all of his success, Cheruiyot replied, “The Almighty Father? Always.”
I don’t suppose that running a twenty six mile marathon is a piece of cake for anyone. And I imagine there are many stories like Cheruiyot’s amongst the runners; stories of people overcoming personal tragedy to obtain life-long victory. Whatever their stories may be, each and everyone of those runners made the choice to “Just Do It.”
“Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: … be of good courage, and do it.” (Ezra 10:4)
I bet the Nike people didn’t realize they were borrowing a motivational slogan from the Old Testament when they started going around saying “Just Do It.” But I also don’t think Heavenly Father would mind. He gave us our bodies for a good purpose, to use them. He gave us our minds that we mind use them, with speed and agility. And if either of those things prove challenging for us, He gave us the tools with which to improve ourselves.
The Boston Marathon runs divisions for wheelchair, the blind/visually impaired and the mobility impaired. Running a marathon can’t be easy for anyone, but certainly you have got to admire the stamina and courage it takes to take on something so vast when you have a physical impairment to overcome. These people, so obviously challenged, could have stayed home and sat on their couches and watched the race on T.V. They could have watched the race and wished wistfully, “If only … ” But they didn’t wish it, they made it happen.
The old adage, “The Lord helps those who help themselves” is as true today today as it was when your Grandmother learned it at the knee of her grandmother. Your challenge may not be running a marathon; for some of us just getting up to face the day can be as great a challenge.
Don’t be one of those who “sit and stew”. Do something good for your body, for your spirit, and “go and do”. I can guarantee you’ll be happier for it!