The famous American runner, Jim Ryun, set a mile record when he was 18 years old.
In 1964 Jim Ryun became the first high school runner to break the four minute mile, running 3:59 as a junior at East High School in Wichita, Kansas, and remains the only athlete to run a four minute mile as a high school junior.  In 1965 he beat the Olympic champion and set the American mile record  of 3:55.3

Although undoubtedly the finest middle distance runner of his time, holding five world records, Jim Ryun failed three times [1964, 1968, 1972] to add his name to the roll of Olympic gold medallists.  He won a silver medal in the 1500 metres in the high altitude of Mexico City, losing to Kip Keino from Kenya, whose remarkable race remained the Olympic 1500 metre record for 16 years. The world records Ryun had set in 1967 for 1500m and the mile were still intact when he made his third Olympic appearance in 1972, but tragically, he was tripped in his 1500m heat and lost his chance.

Two quotes from Jim Ryun tell us much about his character and offer some really good advice to all people.

Jim Ryun said:
MOTIVATION is what gets you started. HABIT is what keeps you going.

As a Christian, what can we learn from the philosophy of Jim Ryun?
Hebrews 12 tells us we are running a race.

Jim says motivation gets us started.
Motivation?  We have the highest.

Firstly, we think of all that Jesus endured for us: not just the physical agony, but the spiritual agony of pure, perfect holiness actually becoming sin, so that we can have His righteousness.

We think of the depth of grief to the Father as He poured out His wrath on His only begotten Son and as they were separated by our sin for the only time in all eternity.

Then, we think of the abundance of blessings that are freely given to us. As adopted, blood-bought children of God, we are assured of His abiding presence, of His constant guidance, teaching, encouragement, challenge, enablement . . . of EVERYTHING we need to run the race in victory, including power over our enemies of the world, the flesh and the devil.

As the old hymn says “Each victory will help you some other to win”

As we cultivate the habits of reading, studying, meditating on and memorising God’s Word and spending time with Him in two-way communion, and continuing that communication throughout our day, we experience more and more the blessings of our new life in Christ.  We want more and more.

Maybe Jim Ryun’s second quote says more:
Jim Ryun said about his training:

“I would run until I felt I couldn’t take another step;
then I would run until I felt my lungs would burst.
When I came to that state,
I would run until I thought I was going to pass out.

When I did this, I was making progress.”

Are we inclined to give in too easily?

Or, as we “run the race that is set before us” do we have that kind of determination and endurance?

Do we “fight a good fight and keep the faith” as Paul testified to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:7?

The next verse declares  “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but to all who have loved His appearing”

Now THAT makes a gold medal worthless by comparison!

The rewards waiting for us when our Lord welcomes us to the home He is preparing for us makes everything else dim by comparison.

How is your race proceeding?

Mr Anon says:
If there is no fruit in my life, there is no reason for my existence.

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About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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10 Responses to A CHAMPION SPEAKS

  1. alwayzhis says:

    Dear sweet sister Angela… this post is almost exactly the same as one I have been working on. Thank you for listening to our Glorious God and speaking the truth in love. Every person who claims the name of Christ needs to be 100% committed to Him. It is not easy, but it is possible. We will still falter, wander, stumble and trip because our flesh gets in the way… but praise His Holy Name, He forgives… gets us back on track.
    Bless you! We serve an Awesome God!


    • Please continue on yours Stephanie. I look forward to reading it soon. I find it surprising (although I shouldn’t) that several people will write on the same subject at the same time. Really, it is confirmation that God has a message for His people. His truths can never be overstated, and our gracious Father uses our different personalities to reach different people.

      What an amazing God!


  2. Rob Barkman says:

    Thanks Angela for the encouragement this morning. Jim Ryun certainly does set a secular example for each one of us, encouraging us of dedication and endurance. My prayer is that I might set a similar spiritual example with my life. How wonderful it would be to hear “Well done”!
    Lord bless you dear friend. Your posts are always an encouragement to me.


    • Thanks Rob. Isn’t it wonderful how God gives His children different ministries and how He uses us, collectively, to reach and bless others. I love your detailed studies of the Word. I love Deb’s ‘simple poems’ which put a huge challenge or Biblical truth in a few words. I am challenged by others who add a spiritual challenge to an ordinary event in their daily lives.

      May we all give 100% dedication to the ministry to which we are called, presenting a clear message to all types of readers, that Jesus Christ will be exalted; that many will come to *know* Him and that many will be challenged and encouraged in their walk with Him.

      We serve an amazing God!


  3. Debbie says:

    That last quote by Jim really hit me too, Mentor Angela. And what you said to Noel about how athletes and hobbyists put us to shame with the devotion and time they have for their interests. Ouch . .so true! Praying that I keep pushing through to Him , even when it gets uncomfortable and it takes effort I don’t think I have. Reading this brought something else to mind. I find that as I am reading His word, and praying, I sometimes think that I need to stop and get going on my day, even if I haven’t heard from Him clearly, gotten a devotion idea or little poem. BUT if I only stay with Him a LITTLE longer . . .He brings me something. I would miss it, miss that opportunity, if I didn’t just wait on Him for 10 or 15 more minutes!
    God bless you as you keep running the race!


    • YOU would miss it if you didn’t wait? Yes, you would, but WE would miss it more! Deb, I so admire the way you are committed to bring us a word every day. You are God’s mouthpiece, often bringing a complex message in just a few simple words.

      I know you don’t look for thanks, because your reward is from the Lord, but thank you for faithfully running the race in the way He has given you.


  4. Noel Williams (prhayz) www.prhayz.com says:

    The Jim Ryun story bears some resemblance to the story of Charles Barclay, Patrick Ewing and Carl Malone. These three gentlemen are rated among the greatest basketball players of all times. However, none of them ever win a Championship. They have had their chances, but they all came up short. They just did not have all the pieces that it took to get them over the hump.
    As Christians we need to have all the pieces in place so that we will be able to fight the good fight and keep the faith. Short of that we will end up like the five foolish virgins.

    Thank you so much for sharing this powerful and relevant post Angela. My soul was richly blessed.


    • Thanks Noel. Thanks for adding that lesson. I hadn’t thought of that side. I was more impressed with the dedication and commitment of Jim Ryun.

      The 16 yo Aussie girl who gained a silver medal in the 10m diving at the Olympics is a good achiever in her second last year of high school, even though she spends 36 hours a week in practice and training. Many athletes and people with hobbies put us to shame with the amount of time, effort and dedication they devote to their interest . . . yet we have sooooooooooo much more reason than they!


  5. writinggomer says:

    Excellent Angela, I really liked the running metaphor.

    Indeed we must not give up to easily, actually we shouldn’t give up at all wear our Lord is concerned.



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