"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"To give anything less than your best......." - Prefontaine

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift" - Prefontaine

Steve Prefontaine is a legend in the world of distance running and track & field.  A young guy that burst onto the scene in the early '70s, developed a near cult-like following at the University of Oregon and was on his way to becoming one the greatest middle distance runners ever.  He once held 7 American records and along with Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter, was credited for the popularity of the 1970's "running boom".  He died in a tragic car accident at age 24. 

I don't really know if "Pre" was especially religious or devout in his faith, but he definitely knew that we each had a gift given to us and we owed it to ourselves to use the gift fully.  Steve was a real animal on the track.  He dug deep and put every ounce of heart and soul into the race.  He was a fierce competitor that relied on having more "guts" than anyone else.  His 10k finishes are legendary and even today distance runners use his style and determination to find their own motivation.

There are several Prefontaine movies, (Fire on the Track, Without Limits), that are always listed behind Chariots of Fire as the best running movies of all time.  I have never seen them, but will real soon. There have been Prefontaine Nike ads, race clubs and annual runs. The official Prefontaine web page has some great background info. 

Again, I don't really know the context from which Steve made the statement above. I also don't want to imply that he intended it as I do.  Personally, I like to apply this same thought to the gift(s) that our Heavenly Father places in each of us.  Gifts that are meant to honor Him and serve others.  Gifts that are blessings to be used every day, lest we "sacrifice" them.  I hope that we make it our daily goal to give our best and use our gifts to their fullest.   

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