I’m currently reading “Everybody Always” and came across an amazing story in Chapter 11 about a guy named Lex that I want to share:
"I have a friend named Lex. He had 10 operations before completely losing his eyesight when he was eight years old. In high school, Lex began competing in Track-and-Field events. By the time he got to college, he figured out that he could run like the wind, so he went out for the track team. My first thought was, how can a blind man run track? Then I found out Lex has a friend. His friend runs in front of Lex and call out his name. Lex just runs towards a voice he knows he can trust.
Everyone who does Track-and-Field has a favorite event. Lex likes Long Jump the best. This still makes my head spin. If you're not familiar with this event, you run as fast as you can down a three-foot-wide track from a position more than one hundred feet away. With your last step, you launch into the air as high as you can from a wooden board in the track and land as far away as you can in a sand pit. Impossible for a blind guy, right? Not for Lex. Do you know why? He’s got a friend whose voice he knows he can trust.
What Lex does is both simple and impossible at the same time. When it's his turn to compete, his friend squares Lex shoulders towards the sandpit down the track, then he goes to the edge of the sand pit and starts yelling, “Fly! Fly! Fly!” over and over. Lex runs towards the friends voice and then jumps as far as he’s able.
Get this: Lex went out for the US Paralympic team - and he made it. He can jump farther than just about anyone in the world. Here’s the reason why: people who are becoming love, try impossible things because they’re surrounded themselves with voices they can trust.
At the world championships, it was Lex’s turn, and his friend walked him out to the far end of the narrow track. He squared his shoulders and walked to the edge of the sandpit. Then like always, he started yelling “Fly! Fly! Fly!” to Lex. Because Lex is blind, and because he was surrounded by so many other voices and noise, he lost the sound of his friend and began to run off path. The louder his friend got, the more off-track he ran. He launched on his 16th step completely crooked. Everyone in the stadium gasped. Lex missed the sandpit completely and crashed and burned onto concrete. Lex was badly bruised, his uniform ripped, he was helped off the field and into medical attention.
I'm no athlete, but if I were Lex I would have been tempted to quit. I would have focused on how unfair my life was. I’d complain to myself about how id jumped far and hit hard. I’d be afraid if it happened once, it would happen again. There are voices of defeat each of us concentrates on sometimes. If we let them, these voices can take over and drown out the voices we've come to trust in our lives. Lex didn't see it this way. His faith doesn't just inform his heart; it informs his whole life.
Lex walked back onto the field to a thunderous applause. Together, Lex and his friend walked to the narrow end of the runway. There is a saying in Track: “Last one, Best one.” His friend squared Lex shoulders and feet once again, walked to the edge of the sandpit and started screaming “Fly! Fly! Fly!” as Lex sprinted down the runway. This time, when Lex hit the wooden plank on his 16th step, he leaped into the air like a Gazelle, and when he hit the sand (more than 21ft later) he won the entire competition.
Lex didn’t let fear call the shots in his life, and we shouldn't either.”
This story, as I’m sitting at my favorite breakfast nook restaurant, hit me in the gut so hard and was extremely relatable for many reasons.
1) I think have all ran blindly towards something being misguided by voices that we couldn't trust, and the result was crashing hard.
A job, a girl, a boy, an opportunity, an investment… we run fast, jumped big, missed big, and are left picking up the pieces. The difference between us and everybody else though, is that we didn't let that stop us from trying again. We chose not to let fear call the shots in our life. If you are sitting there and don't share that same bravery, what's stopping you? So what you crashed and burned on something, get up and go at it again. Fear is not your boss anymore.
2) Sometimes when we are looking for God's voice and direction, he send us friends we can trust instead.
Find friends and voices that you can trust and run towards them. Surround yourself with people you Trust. You'll know they're the right people to trust when they don't spend time giving you instructions, they just have to call your name. There is a classic saying that you are the average of the 5 closest people to you, and I think that is one of the truest truths out there.
3) God doesn't like us more when we succeed or less when we fail. He simply delights in our attempts.
Don't waste your life trying to earn or impress God or even your friends and Family. Simply attempt to do the best you can, in all you do. And with this - remember the David Goggins Law - your mind and body will always out of survival tell you to quit at 40%. So if you're ready to quit, remember you still have 60% more effort left in you.
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