The Heart of a Champion

Secretariat

Job complained to God about his circumstances and God answered, ” Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? His paws fiercely rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword.” Job 39:19-22

Those are the opening lines in the Disney film, Secretariat. I happened to catch it on T.V. a couple of weeks ago.

The movie is about a champion, a thoroughbred racehorse named Secretariat. Secretariat was not any horse.  He won the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, And Belmont races) in 1973 setting records that to this day haven’t been broken. This phenom was named athlete of the century not just for his speed (he won the Belmont by 30 lengths)  but because of his undying endurance and unstoppable spirit to run. To finish the race. By way of  inheritance he had the heart of a champion.

All thoroughbreds are fast (that’s why they’re racehorses) but not all have that something extra that lets them keep going and going.  A drive to finish.

Secretariat was unique in that his father, Bold Ruler was known for speed but his mother, Somethingroyal was known for her unusual endurance. At his death Secretariat’s heart was estimated to weighs a whopping 22 lbs (a normal thoroughbred’s heart weights about 9 lbs and a human heart weighs 8-16 ounces).

This horse  inherited what made him special. What made him different. What gave him the ability to do what seemed the impossible.

The movie tugged at my heartstrings (well of course it was Disney). When  I saw the drive of this animal I saw a human element there.  As his hoofs pounded the dirt and he drove to the finish I cheered him on from my couch! I wanted to be a Secretariat. I wanted the will that kept him going.  The fearlessness to push through.

And then it dawned on me…. through my spiritual inheritance I do have this!

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that we are to ….” run with perseverance the race marked out for us”. Which is to say God has marked out a purpose for each one of us, for each season in our life and we are not to give up on whatever God has given us to do.  No matter how difficult it is, we are to run with it.

Sometimes what we’ve been given seems impossible.  But God will never call us to do something for which He does not provide a means to accomplish it.

As  believers, followers of Jesus, we can be like Secretariat (in human form of course). We have the  power living within us to endure, to persevere, to keep going in whatever God has called us to do.

How?

When we accepted Christ as Savior and Lord we were adopted into the family of God as sons and daughters. 1 John 3:1.

At the time we were  grafted in (adopted) by the Father through faith in Jesus we received the Holy Spirit  guaranteeing our inheritance and we were blessed  with every spiritual blessing  in Christ (Ephesians 1:4-14). Ephesians 1:19-20 goes on to say we who believe were given  incomparably great power.  The kind of power that’s like the working of God’s mighty strength that raised Jesus from the dead.

Okay, that’s some BIG power! I’m just say’n… More powerful than any racehorse!

But most of us walk around this world not even half  knowing this awesome power God has given us. Instead we try to accomplish everything by our own do-it-yourself handbook.

Secretariat was born biologically to run out his race and he never knew anything different. We weren’t born that way.  But through faith in God’s son Jesus we are supernaturally reborn with the ability to run and finish what God has given us to do.

So what has God called you to?

Has he called you to parent a special needs child?  You might wonder where your race is taking you and where it might end.  During those times you think, will I make it another day?

God whispers, yes you will.

Are you in a daily struggle to keep your marriage from falling apart?  When you’re thinking, is it worth it?

God whispers, yes it is.

Has He called you to stay the course with an unruly teen?  You might feel you’ve done everything humanly possible and now you’re at your wit’s end.  You pray to God, what else can I do? I can’t take this kid another day.

And God whispers, yes you can.

He says, yes you can finish even when you don’t know where you’re going because I know where you’re going.  You are not alone. My Spirit lives within you. The Spirit of power. The Spirit that   perseveres.

God asked Job, “Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like locust, striking terror with his proud snorting ?” (Job 39:19)

The answer is no.  But God does.

God also gave a certain racehorse a heart  to accomplish what seemed impossible. That same God has given us that heart through His Spirit so we can do what otherwise seems impossible.

We may not have a 22 pound heart like Secretariat but as believers inside each of us beats the heart of a champion.

{This article was written by Christy Mobley.  Christy is a girly girl at heart. She has a passion for fashion and decorating which is to say she loves clothes and accessories and moving things around her house. She chases tennis balls for recreation and enjoys scavenging the beach for shark teeth.  She and husband David are life group leaders and have been at Chets from it’s earliest beginnings. They have been married for thirty years and have two adult sons and two daughter-in-laws.  Christy loves sharing God’s Word through writing and teaching and has recently joined the Chets Women’s communication team and Bible study team. She invites you to join her on her blog “Joying in the Journey” at www.christymobley.com.}

One thought on “The Heart of a Champion

  1. I never knew that about Secretariat’s heart and I have always thought he must have been supernatural to set those records which have yet to be broken. Now, I know he truly was supernatural by way of his heart! I love Christy’s comparison of Secretariat’s drive and endurance with that of the born again Christian. It is so true that we cannot finish the race on our own, much less become champions. But, once we have the Holy Spirit living inside each of us, we, too, are capable of finishing our race as champions!!

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