Track Olympiad, Usain Bolt, was almost guaranteed the gold at the 2011 World Championships.   A change to the Fast Start rule was about to end that.

Bottom line, if a runner false starts even once, he’s disqualified.   Watching Usain lift his shirt over his head in agony as he realized there would be no second chance, is burned in my memory.

Rules can disqualify us.

But we can disqualify ourselves.

Consider this story:  a man trains to be in a Marathon.  Within minutes of starting the race, he finds himself in last place.   The guy who’s in front of him asks, “Hey Buddy, how’s is feel to be last?’  The runner replies, “Do you want to know?  And drops out of the race.”

If only we could become like a child, unencumbered by past failures.

You may be familiar story with the story of kindergarteners asked to draw something familiar to them.  The teacher recognizes drawings of cats and dogs.  When she comes to one little girl, puzzled, she asks, what are you drawing?

The young artist replies – “God…”

The teacher retorts, “But no one knows what God looks like.”

To which the little girl says, “Well, they’ll find out in a minute!”

Which story do you see yourself in?

As adult believers can we tap into that childlike confidence?  It might begin with simply admitting, “Hey, I may be off my mark, but that doesn’t mean I’m out of the race.”

Once we acknowledge this, it’s time for a reset.  In my marriage we call it a ‘do over!’

If during a discussion once of us becomes aware that we’re headed down a bad path (we affectionately call intense fellowship) we signal one another by simply saying ‘do over!’

God has given us a reset button.

According to scriptures your foundation is not built upon your successes or failures, rather it’s upon Jesus Christ Himself.  A reset shifts our hope back to trusting in the finished work of Jesus.

Will you allow yourself a reset?

Then, it’s time to GO!

Imagine yourself on the starting block.   It’s gonna be a long race… you might  hit the wall again.  What’s going to get you going??

My niece just completed boot camp at West Point.  Everyone hits the wall. I asked her if she ever thought about quitting.  She replied “It never crossed my mind, Auntie Cheryl.  I went into the military because I felt called.  Yeah, it was tough, but I always managed to ‘power through’.”

It made me think of the Apostle Paul.  How could he persevere through problems and persecution and keep running?  He kept his eyes on the upward call in Christ and powered through!

A false start doesn’t have to disqualify us!

God’s mercy is new every morning.

A righteous man stumbles, but he gets up.

So how do we get going again?

There is an old runner’s saying – run early in the morning before your brain figures out what you’re really doing.

But we as believers are asked to run in a different way – fully engaged, eyes fixed, knowing we are called!

So, off your mark?  Reset.  (Imagine, I’m blowing a whistle now)  and Go!