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Winning When Others Lose

by Gary Knuckles

Cross country is a unique sport. Most sports have defined fields or courts to play on and each one is just like the one at home. Even track & field is the same with the exception of surfaces. But, cross country is run across athletic fields, golf courses, farm land, sand, water, and...you get the idea. The primary rule is that the course must be of a defined length as set out by a governing sports body.

     Some cross country courses are flat, but most have hills. Now, why is that such an important feature? Because the hills are where winners are made. The hills test each runner physically, mentally, and emotionally. You have to think about your stride and you cannot let your heart tell you it’s not worth it. Being in good physical shape is good, but there is a mental and emotional aspect that each runner must overcome. The advice for a runner is, “Some runners can’t handle the hills. That is where you will pass runners if you run smart. Attack the hills and when you get to the other side, let the gravity do the running for you.” You see, a hill can make you a winner where others lose!

     The terrain of life is not always smooth and it definitely isn’t always flat. There are hills and they will test us to the limit. Those hills in life will makes us winners or make us losers depending on how we handle them. We either attack life and move on or we get stranded on the difficulties while others pass us by.

     If you’ve read the Psalms, you know that many of them contain David’s cries for God’s help. He was surrounded by enemies, grief overwhelmed him, he had been slandered, and everything in life just seemed to work against him. He had come to one of those hills that defeat some and make winners out of others. David wanted to win, but he wasn’t sure what to do. So, he made his appeal to God for help.

     David, one of the Bible’s greatest characters, had trouble with hills just like all of us. But, he knew what to do. First, don’t give up. Giving up solves nothing and only results in us losing. Second, go to God for help. David wrote, “But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.” (Ps. 31:14-16)

     Most cross country runners will tell you they would rather run on flat surfaces. They are easier and result in faster race times. But, some see them as opportunities to prove their mettle. Christian, don’t give up on the hills. Remember, winners are made where others lose. God will help you overcome!


           Gary Knuckles grew up in the old Meigs Ave COC in Jefersonville, IN.  He  lives in Benton, KY and preaches for the Briensburg Church of Christ.


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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10