About playing hurt.
About finishing strong.
This is about starting over. About reinventing yourself, your future, your relationships.
Before there was a Ripkin or a Rocky Balboa (VI), there was Lou Gehrig. The Iron Man played in 2,130 consecutive baseball games. However many seasons that was, Gehrig never missed a game.
Did he ever get hurt, sick, or tired? Yep. But he always showed up at game time.
That’s one of the keys, you know. Just show up.
After Lou retired, he had a physical examination. X-rays showed that every finger on both of his hands had been broken at least once during his playing career. But not once did he complain, quit, or ask to be relieved because of his injuries.
There had to have been days when those hands hurt badly. But Gehrig never missed a game. He played hurt. That’s another part of what greatness is about . . . playing hurt, and not quitting.
Did anyone ever ask Gehrig why he kept on playing when he had a broken hand? If you had to ask, you wouldn’t understand the answer.
The fact is, we either decide to play the game even while we’re hurting or we probably don’t play the game at all.
Everybody gets hurt in every meaningful pursuit – marriage, family, business, friendships, social groups, relatives, even church, if you can believe that! At some time or other it will certainly happen to you. But if getting hurt or disappointed or discouraged were reason enough to quit, there wouldn’t be anyone left in the ministry, in the family, in school, or in the workforce.
Finishing well means learning to play hurt. Playing hurt means learning to reinvent yourself. Or better still, letting God reinvent you.
What would we know about God or life in the Kingdom without a reinvented Moses, a limping Jacob, a broken King David, or a restored Peter? All these men and more stared failure, rejection, weakness, or frustration in the face.
And they all heard the call of God: The end of your story has yet to be told. You’re just getting started.
If you’re wounded or wilting, hiding from your past or hurling at those who have hurt you, it’s time for a new beginning. I know Someone who can heal the wounds, renew your strength, redeem your past, and forgive through you. He’s the Author of your faith. But He’s also its finisher. And He says, “Let’s go.”
So get up, suit up, and show up. This is no game. But you are in the starting lineup.
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