Perseverance in the Face of Challenges

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

When I ran track in high school, I was willing to try any event – short or long-distance running, jumping, throwing events; everything except pole-vaulting (which I thought was insane).

I read an article about Charlotte Brown, who in the spring of 2015, won the bronze medal for pole-vault in the state of Texas. While winning any medal in states is a great accomplishment, this is not what caught my attention. This high school senior ran down the 130 foot plus runway, carrying a pole about 10 feet in length, and vaulted over 11 feet in the air – all as a blind person.

Charlotte’s story is inspiring; an excellent reminder of having perseverance and determination in the face of challenges and obstacles. She had to count her steps and use a beeper to tell her when to plant the pole. Having these safeguards in place, she knew where she was on the runway, thereby allowing her to successfully make her vault.

Charlotte Brown’s amazing feat carries another important lesson: We need spiritual safeguards to provide guidance and direction. Our greatest safeguard is the Word of God. In fact, the Bible has everything we need to know to live out the Christian faith in this world (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Just as Charlotte counted her steps and used a beeper to keep her on track, let us look to God’s Word to keep us on the right path.

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105