Hello everyone, Mitchell Hollis here with Run for God.
I recently read a quote from Angela Duckworth who completed a study at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research indicated that “Grit” is the number-one indicator of success. It’s not talent, title, wealth, or good looks. It’s “Grit”, the ability to work hard for long periods of time toward a goal; to persevere, to overcome, and to keep moving forward in the face of adversity, failure, rejection, and obstacles.
As many of you know, I coach a team of young triathletes, and this has been a topic of discussion within our coaching team for years. We understand this principal. I have had the opportunity to watch and observe young triathletes for more than 10 years now, and I can tell you that there are athletes with grit, and there are athletes without grit. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the two, until it’s time for the sport to become their own.
So what do I mean?
I don’t believe kids get burned out in a sport. Now, I understand that can be a very explosive statement because we hear it so much, but hear me out. I believe kids finally come to a point of honesty about their level of grit for the sport. It’s either there, or it’s not. I’ve seen many talented athletes leave the sport because of a lack of grit. I’ve also seen many not so talented athletes excel in the sport because of an abundance of grit. Now, let’s not confuse grit with motivation. Grit is the spark, while motivation is the fuel.
This past weekend my son Lane had to leave at 7:15 Saturday morning to catch a plane with his buddy Easton to Tucson, AZ where they spent the next 4 days biking some of the most beautiful places in the country. Friday afternoon I asked Lane if he had thought about his long run that was scheduled for Saturday. He was leaving at 7:15AM and traveling all day. When I suggested a 5:00AM start, the motivation was not immediately there. I could see it in his eyes. He just wanted to sleep. But there is one thing I’ve learned about many of these athletes. They’ve got grit for the sport. Lane got his run in at 5:00 that morning, and Easton got his in late that evening, while everyone else was resting from the days travels. They’ve got grit in the sport of triathlon.
So how does this relate to our walk with Christ?
I believe that our churches today are filled with motivated people. They love to hear a good sermon, they love joining forces with friends to help others, and they love telling others where they attend church. But they have no grit. And, because they have no grit, they are leaving the church at an alarming rate. They got “burned out.” I’ve heard that before. “Well, I just got burned out with all that church stuff and quit going.” Statistics show that 75% of young people will leave the church upon leaving the home.
I believe it’s because they have no grit. Now I know you’re asking yourself, “Mitchell, what does grit have to do with our spiritual lives?” In our spiritual lives “grit” is Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the constant when motivation is gone. Let me say that again. Jesus is the constant when motivation is gone.
Let me be very clear. Living a life that appears Christian is hard. Trust me. This ministry known as Run for God is not easy. The devil is on constant high alert. People whisper when they see our shirts, old friends distance themselves, opportunities often pass by because we’re “faith based”. Living a life that appears Christian is hard.
Why do I make that statement? Living a life that “APPEARS” Christian is hard.
There are things in a sport that motivate an athlete. Success, Coaches, Dreams, Goals, and even Parents. But what keeps an athlete going in the absence of all that? What keeps an athlete going when injury ends their season? What keeps an athlete going when defeat happens? What keeps an athlete going when their schedule gets too overwhelming?
It’s Grit. Plain and simple, it’s GRIT.
Run for God enjoys many motivations. Letters and stories of lives being changed all over the world. From China to a Federal Prison in Butner, NC. We get notifications each time someone makes a decision to follow Christ as a result of our Gospel campaigns. We receive monthly support from people all over the country and many people in this room. This is confirmation that we are on the right path and motivation to keep going.
But too many times those motivations seem to pass in the blink of an eye and are quickly replaced by doubt. A negative email comes in. An off color comment is aimed our way. Financials aren’t where we hoped they’d be. Let’s take this to a personal level. A family member gets sick, a child goes astray, a test result comes back and it’s not good, word comes that you’re losing your job.
These are the times where grit carries you. These are the times when Jesus takes you by the hand and leads you through. Just like a season ending injury coupled with grit in your sport will often lead to a better and stronger athlete. So it is when we reach obstacles and valleys in our life. With Jesus, we are better and wiser for them. He doesn’t take them away, he leads us through them. Without Jesus, we are defeated, washed up, burned out, and leaving the church.
Are you living the Christian life? Or, are you living the appearance of a Christian life?
God has clearly been directing me over the past few years to challenge those around me with a simple question.
Do you know that you know where you’ll be spending eternity?
Do you ever find yourself defeated, burned out, and questioning what this life is all about?
Young people, are you cruising through life on your parents salvation? Or is it yours?
These are tough questions. They’re not easy to ask, and if you’re living the “appearance” of a Christian life, then they’re not easy to hear.
I challenge you to ponder the idea of Jesus in your life. Not church, not the words you use, or the image you portray, but Jesus. Is He REAL in your life?
If you would like to learn more about how to have Peace with Jesus Christ then please visit www.RunforGod.com/PeacewithGodright now.
Friends, I love you, but more importantly God loves you! Now go tell someone about Jesus today.