Human endeavour, the quest to be the first to achieve something is a fascinating subject. Throughout history men and women have pushed and smashed through boundaries of what previously was thought impossible. Just recently we’ve seen the first sub two-hour marathon by Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge. A little further back, twelve years ago in fact, we saw the first successful human powered attempt to circumnavigate the world.
Jason Lewis from Dorset set out on his journey on 12th July 1994, from Greenwich. The expedition of over 46,000 miles (that Lewis thought would take 2-3years) took him over 13 years; 4,833 days to be precise! Throughout, Lewis used only human-powered modes of transportation; that is on foot, by bicycle, on roller blades or in a pedal powered boat. His book ‘Dark Waters’, about the expedition, tells the story of adventure, the importance of concentrating on the present, perseverance and endurance. Lewis was hit by a car in Colorado whilst roller blading across North America; the accident broke both his legs, meaning a 9-month recovery before setting off again. In Australia he spent 4 years raising more funds to enable him to continue the journey. In total Lewis journeyed through 37 countries in 13 years. During that time he survived malaria, septicaemia, a bout of mild schizophrenia, and a crocodile attack near Australia in 2005! His journey of braveness and courage (and some might say utter madness) is one very few will take. For most reading this, a journey such as the one Lewis’ took is either physically impossible or the last thing we would ever consider doing.
The Bible records stories of courage and braveness. Following his conversion, the Apostle Paul’s life was probably one of the most courageous journeys’ imaginable. His quest to spread the gospel throughout the Roman empire saw him stoned, shipwrecked and imprisoned. Paul was under attack physically, mentally and spiritually, but he kept going. Hebrews 12:1-2 says this:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith”.
The journeys that Jason Lewis and the Apostle Paul took were extraordinary; against all the odds they successfully crossed their finish lines. As followers of Jesus, the Bible challenges us to be courageous, to press on and not to give up.
CVM is focussed on introducing men to Jesus, proclaiming the gospel and seeing lives transformed. At the heart of the ministry is twelve Christ-centred codes that point men to living radical, sacrificial and biblical lives for God. Code 12 says this: “If I fail, I will not give up. He never gives up on me”. Whether you’re already a follower of Jesus or still searching, can I encourage you to run with perseverance the race marked out for you. Whats more, gather some men around you to cheer you on, pick you up when you fall and celebrate when you cross the finish line.