A new giant is now defying my accomplishments. His name is, “Success.” I stopped counting calories since I have lost the 50+ pounds I desired. The running schedule fell at the feat of “I’ve completed a half marathon” so I can now run at will – assuming I run at all. I was successful. I did it once and I can do it again. I am Spartacus!
Lately I’ve been writing about the “giants” that originally tried to hinder my completing a half-marathon in early March. The 2 giants were obesity, and a lack of self-discipline. I compared myself to the likes of an honest-to-God giant killer – David. I have to ask, however, if these giants were in fact dead, why was gaining weight? AND – where did my running discipline go? Back to the scriptures I went and found this disturbing fact: “Goliath had kin folks.” This second account of David facing off with giants is found in 2Samuel 21:16-22.
Depending on which scholar you read behind, these giants may or may not have been directly related to the infamous Goliath. Some say that Goliath had at least one brother and perhaps a son or 2. For my purposes I will simply say that whether or not they were all related is irrelevant. The bottom line is that they came for David, they came in numbers, and they came with a vengeance.
As I stated in an earlier post, it is good to reflect on past successes – but it’s not ok to rely forever upon them. In 1984, John Thompson Jr. became the first African-American head coach to win a major collegiate championship. After winning the NCAA National Basketball Championship that year, the then Georgetown Hoya head basketball coach was asked how he felt about the victory. The coach replied (as best I can recall – and loosely quoted) ‘This is only one game. Getting here and staying here is the real challenge.’ I feel ya, coach.
Although I take nothing away from my accomplishments, a now see that my old, destructive habits had kin folks. They are attempting to come back and come back with a vengeance. The success that I enjoyed is quickly becoming my nemesis. I now see that I will need to keep a diligent watch over my health. One victory, although meaningful, is not going to carry me forever.
Be cautious that you don’t rest in yesterday successes. This is a common business mistake. I see in church as well. What once was working may not always assure continued success. Always be reaching for new measurable goals. Set them realistic but set them non-the-less.
Doug Rea is the Pastor at Connections in Albany, GA.