A couple of years ago, one of my sons sent me a link to “Team Hoyt,” the inspiring story of a father and son (Dick and Rick Hoyt) who have completed a whole bunch of marathons, triathalons and such. The key to the story is that the son is physically handicapped and cannot run a step or swim a stroke. Dick pushes him in a special cart as he runs or tows him as he swims or rides a bike.
It’s easy to feel admiration for someone like this, easy to feel ashamed or weak in comparison.
I wrote a short letter back to my son. For some reason, I have a very strong sense that someone today needs the encouragement that I shared with him. So, with just a few changes and/or deletions, here is that letter. I hope it blesses you or someone you know.
I came across this incredible story two or three years ago and was just blown away by it.
What I hope that you will never forget is that you’ve already been running your own marathon for several years.
Every day that you get up and go to work, every time you’d rather do something else but instead do what needs to be done for your family, every time you catch yourself being harsh or impatient and apologize and pray for greater humility, gentleness and patience… in every one of those things, you take another step. Every time you forgive an oversight or a slight or an injury, every time you return some good act for some bad one. Every time you admit a mistake and try to make it right, every time you model forgiving and peace and grace. Every time you choose to be honest instead of taking the easier path. Every time you do your duty, every time you do the right thing, every time you take time to show one of your kids how to do something, every hug, every kiss, every prayer is another step in the great Marathon of Parenting.
Every time you show appreciation to your wife, every time you show affection, every time you choose to put her above yourself and her desires above your own. In every act of love, grace, mercy, devotion, you take another step. Each sacrifice, each acceptance is a part of the grand and glorious race of loving her as you love yourself, loving her as Christ loves the church. The Marathon of Marriage.
This father shows an amazing dedication, devotion and determination to his son and I would not dare slight his accomplishments. But I hope that you will not be shamed by his example or feel that you have to do something similar. Just love your family, every single hour of every single day of your life and devote yourself to complete imitation of the example of Christ in serving your family. Whether or not they ever put a video of you on YouTube, if you do that, you will live a Marathon that not only blesses your family and everyone who loves you, you will win the Crown of Life!!
By the way, I hope you don’t mind me pretending I wrote this to you when maybe I was talking to me just as much!!