The Pepsi Challenge


Almost 15 years ago, Bill Broadhurst entered the Pepsi Challenge 10,000-meter road race in Omaha, Nebraska. Ten years before that, he had undergone surgery for an aneurysm in his brain. The surgery left him partially paralysed on the left side of his body. So, on a misty July morning in 1981, an impaired Bill Broadhurst stood with 1,200 agile runners at the starting line. The starter's gun sounded, and the crowd surged forward.

Bill threw his barely responsive left leg forward, pivoted on it as his right foot hit the pavement, and began his run. By the time he had taken only a few slow steps forward, the rest of the participants were pulling out of sight.

His slow plop-plop-plop rhythm almost seemed to mock him as the others ran off from him. Sweat rolled down his face. Pain pierced his ankle. But he kept moving. One foot awkwardly in front of the other, over and over again.

Six miles and two hours and twenty-nine minutes later, Bill Broadhurst reached the finish line that day. As he crossed it slowly but triumphantly, a man approached him from a small group of bystanders still hanging around. Bill recognized him from newspaper photographs as the world-class marathon runner Bill Rodgers.

"Here," said Rodgers, as he put his just-won medal for that day's competition around Bill's neck. "You've worked harder for this than I have."

The Christian race you and I are running is like that one. Others may have speed and grace I don't. Your pace may be painfully sluggish. Not to worry! All we need to do is stay on the course. Desire and determination mean more than either speed or grace in this race.

"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hebrews 12:1).

Rubel Shelly The FAX of Life

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