In The Arena

“You did a great job!” I told my son.

“No, I didn’t. I failed.” he replied.

We were discussing his latest track meet. His school had competed  against an older, more experienced team and had suffered some big losses. In one of his races, Josh had come in dead last.

That is all he could see…his rank.

I asked him if he did his best and he said yes.

That means he didn’t fail.

He may have come in last in one race but the important thing is that he was out there. He was trying. He did his best in that particular race.

And anyone out on the field, willing to try, to attempt, to push themselves when things get hard….that person is a success, regardless of the results of the race.

As Theodore Roosevelt once said:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiams, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of  high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” 

This life is much too short to be timid.

I don’t want me or my kids to live in that gray twilight of “would have, should have, could have.”

We have THIS day. We have ONE life. We have ONE voice.

What are your goals?

What are your dreams?

What do you want your life to have been about when it’s time to leave this earth?

What are you waiting for?

I dreamed of starting a blog for a long time, but fear held me back. My life is so ordinary. What would I say? How would I come up with material? Who would want to read it? So many questions.

However, once I finally began writing, the joy was immense and those questions were answered.

Sometimes, we just have to jump in and begin.

I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.”–Tagore.

Sing your song.

Will you fail? Yes, sometimes…no one can win all the time. But there will also be plenty of times when you will succeed.

Will it be painful? Yes…this life is full of pain. But rather than let the pain stop you, let it motivate you. Push past it. If you don’t, you will never know the joy of triumph.

Make the decision to get out there in the arena and do your thing to the best of your ability.

Seize the day!



Filed under Friends and Family

5 responses to “In The Arena

  1. Well Susan,
    God has done it through you again 🙂 I was deeply blessed all through Easter week, Monday and Tuesday. I’m so very grateful I “found” your blog. Again today, your words of encouragement and focus (directly to the Lord), statrt the day out right!
    May God bless you every moment of every day as you walk the path He has for you! I for one am grateful to walk the road of faith with you!!!
    God Bless,

  2. Destiny

    When I leave this earth, I hope that I am remembered as an encourager; a genuine, pure in spirit and motives, authentic encourager.

    I also hope that my precious husband will remember me as a sweet and fascinating (when I’m sure I’ve frustrated him, he always says, “No, you don’t frustrate me, you fascinate me.”) wife. I hope that my son will focus on the fun we had, (and not the mistakes I made) and the memories and traditions we created and I hope, and I pray, that more than anything, he will be grateful for the Christian heritage, I was a factor in, passed on to his children. It will be the most substantial inheritance they will receive and it will last far longer than the proceeds of a bank account or trust fund.

    My dream is that my job in Christian service would become more ministry than work, if that makes sense. I am looking for opportunities for it to become that and I can see that He is making a way for it to happen which excites me beyond belief. I serve to honor Him!

    Because I know the ins and outs of your life, I know that there is more extraordinary than ordinary. There is nothing ordinary about the way you life your faith out loud; the way you love. Yes, there is routine. No, there aren’t great extravagances or adventures right now, but there is family and friends, and deep love and loud laughter. There is a home full of music, of creativity, of celebrations, of changes for the good — all of the wonderful things that money can’t buy. And if that is ordinary, serve me up a big, fat, plate of it!

    P.S. I sent you something this weekend and didn’t have/make time to include a note. Enjoy!

  3. Jenn C

    What great encouragement Susan – thank you!

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