Glory at the Finish

by Ray Reuter on September 12, 2013

Gene TriathlonRecently I was asked to support a friend (Gene) who was in the final weeks of preparing to achieve one of his long-term goals — completing a full Ironman Triathlon. If you are unfamiliar with the scope of a full Ironman, it includes 2.4 miles of swimming, followed by 112 miles of biking, and topped off with a full marathon (26.2 miles) of running.

Like me, some of you may be wondering … WHY? You would think one must have a very compelling “WHY?” to want to do this! The event is amazing in itself, and then you add in the months and months of training, nutrition, discipline — it is BIG! In a nutshell, the WHY? included being a role model, accomplishing something that seems nearly impossible, and to honor the gift of health he has been given.

In one of our final conversations offering encouragement and positive affirmation, I shared with Gene I was looking forward to seeing a picture of him crossing the finish line. He replied, “Yeah — and I want to make sure I don’t look at my watch.” Huh? Gene explained — the habit of runners is to cross the finish line and immediately look at their watches to see their time. Gene said he wanted to make sure he did not do that. Instead, Gene wanted to raise his arms and give thanks and glory to God first.

What beautiful awareness! Immediately crossing the finish line, give glory to God first who blesses us with the opportunity and the talent to succeed … and then pay attention to our own needs (i.e., look at our watches).

I don’t plan to do a triathlon ever … yet I can apply this awareness in my life, and you can too. For instance …

  • Thanking God for the new client or sale before calculating the commission.
  • Thanking God for the opportunity to share knowledge with a large group before counting how many people attended and how many referrals / leads received.
  • Thanking God for our employees and the opportunity to serve them before evaluating their performance.
  • Thanking God for the ability to think and reason before checking the score or grade.
  • Thanking God for the ability to work and have a job before calculating our pay or vacation time.
  • Thanking God for our children before complaining about the mess or stress.
  • Thank God for our health and physical ability before checking our weight, results, time, etc.

The key is AWARENESS and the ability to “PAUSE” and GIVE THANKS & GLORY above all else. The reality is … ALL IS GIFT.

NOTE: That’s a picture of Gene at the finish line.

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