In several track and field events, the wind can enhance performance. They include the 100-meter, 200-meter, 100-meter hurdles, 110-meter hurdles, long jump, triple jump, decathlon, and heptathlon.
Athletes run faster and jump further with the wind pushing them. It gives them an unfair advantage. That’s why wind stronger than 2 meters per second eliminates performances in these events from record consideration.
Javelin throw records aren’t wind-dependent. My brother and I threw the javelin in high school and college.
Recently my twin brother, Charlie, posted a blog reminiscing about our days as javelin throwers at what is now Millersville University. He was seeded first in the conference javelin championship in his junior year. His conference leading distance was at least fifty feet farther than he had thrown in high school.
In my brother’s blog, he modestly stated that his “adult successes have been mostly wind-aided.” He implies that he has had a lot of help.
I love that sentence. It reminds me that God should get credit for our successes as Christians. Since apart from Jesus we can’t do anything significant, God-aided performance is the only kind that can make a difference (John 15:5).
Pastoral ministry is difficult. It’s stressful. Pastors feel isolated. Their constituents come from both sides of the political spectrum. They are stubborn. They hesitate to give God a larger place in their lives than He already has. Their routines and habits resist change.
The usual measuring sticks of church success are attendance and offerings. In the present spiritual climate in the United States, both are probably declining. It’s a challenge for pastors to feel good about their ministry.
We must guard against two opposite errors. I have experience in both. The first is to become frustrated, angry, and depressed at what seems to be a futile cat-herding venture in pastoral service. In March 2022, a Barna survey revealed that 42 percent of pastors were considering leaving the ministry.1 The Apostle Paul reminds us that it’s always too soon to throw in the towel. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV).
Keeping the Holy Spirit of Jesus in the driver’s seat makes all the difference. Otherwise, our frustration, anger, and depression sooner or later break through the dam that restrains them. The polluted flood waters of our pent-up emotions cascade all over those we signed up to help. We can easily disillusion people who are looking to us for spiritual leadership. We might even seriously shake up their faith in God.
The second danger is to take personal credit for successes, both small and great. People might compliment a sermon, thank us for advice, praise us for showing up in their lives when they were hurting, etc. It was God-aided service. We prayed for Him to give us the right words for the situation. He did. Yet, we’re tempted to take all the credit.
Most of our adult successes are wind-aided. We stand on the shoulders of countless people who have equipped us for such a time as this. But all of our spiritual successes are God-aided performances. Let’s give Him the credit He deserves. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources
See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com
God has equipped and empowered me to write His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength. It’s a free devotional discipleship resource. Pastors have used it in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to lead people to Christ and teach the basics of Christianity to 1,933 people to date. I invite you to check it out. https://www.christiangrowthresources.com/his-power-for-your-weakness