Wednesday 21 January 2015

Feed Your Burning Desire

"But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

Maybe you have a burning desire to run a marathon.  When you are setting your life's goal, make sure you pick a goal that you really want.  If you pick the wrong goal, you will lack the passion to achieve it.

One blogger suggests that you ask yourself the question:  "If I won a million dollars tomorrow, would I still have the same goal?"  If the answer is yes, then chances are, you have chosen the right goal. The blogger suggests that you keep notes of other people's success.  Find a companion who is on the same journey as you.  And believe in yourself:  "Stay out of your own way."  Self-doubt is the biggest hurdle to your success.

I think of a little boy named Glenn Cunningham who, along with his brother Floyd, used to light the stove in the one room schoolhouse they attended.  One day, the teacher arrived at the school with the other students to find it engulfed in flames.  She dragged a semi-conscious Glenn out of the burning building.  He was rushed to the county hospital.  Floyd, on the other hand, died in the fire.

The doctor told his mother he likely wouldn't survive.  Glenn overheard the conversation and resolved that he would live, despite the burns that covered the bottom half of his body.  After a few days, the doctor told his mother that although he had survived, he would likely be a cripple his entire life.  His legs just hung lifeless on his body.  The doctor recommended amputation, but Glenn would have none of it.

When Glenn went home, he was confined to a wheelchair.  But his mother would massage his legs everyday, hoping for the best.  Glenn had a burning desire to walk coupled with a strong faith in God. His favourite verse became Isaiah 40:31 which he would recite daily.  One day, Glenn's mother wheeled him outside into the yard on a sunny day.  Glenn resolved that he was going to stand up that day.  He squirmed out of the wheelchair, crawled over to the picket fence, dragged himself to a standing position, and pulled himself stake by stake along the fence.  He determined to do this exercise everyday, wearing a path in the grass on the inside of the fence.

After several weeks of walking with the aid of the fence, Glenn figured out how to walk unassisted beside the fence.  One day, he walked to the schoolhouse.  He set his next goal as running.  Once again, he tackled the task with a burning desire.  Eventually, he started running to school.  He would run just for the sheer joy of running.  In college, he joined the track team.

Glenn wasn't finished with his goals, however,  Once he mastered running, he determined that he would compete at the Olympics.  In 1932, in Los Angeles, he placed fourth in the 1500 metres, just shy of an Olympic medal. And in 1936, he competed at the Berlin Olympics where he won a silver medal in the 1500 metres. Glenn's burning desire fueled his goals.  As if that wasn't enough, in 1933, at Madison Square Garden, he ran the world's fastest mile.

Source:  "The Power of Determination", Chicken Soup for the Soul (1993) at

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