The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.
Last week I shared how so many businesses suffer from what I called “me-too-itiis.” It is the natural tendency businesses have to want to be just like others in their industry.
What a tragedy! I think of the “deep hunger” millions of prospective clients have for the “deep [and hidden] gladness” that is being unmet, unsatisfied. If only those businesses had stepped up and let their deep gladness shine!
Allow me to continue a story that may inspire you to uncover your deep gladness and let it shine! With thanks to Don and Renee Worchester, here’s part two of the inspiring story of Cliff Young:
Cliff Young runs through the dark–because he didn’t know you were supposed to stop!
The accepted way professional runners approached the race was to run 18 hours, sleep 6 for 7 days straight.
But Cliff Young didn’t know that. He didn’t know the accepted way. He only knew what he did regularly back home, the way he had always done it. You run through the dark.
Turns out when Cliff Young said he gathered sheep around his farm for three days, he meant he’d run across 2000 acres of farmland for three days straight without stopping or sleeping, without the dark ever stopping him. You gathered sheep by running through the dark.
So, along the endless stretches of highway, a tiny shadow of an old man shuffled along, one foot after another, right through the heat, right through the night. Cliff gained ground.
Cliff gained ground because he didn’t lose ground to the dark. Cliff gained ground because he ran through the dark.
And somewhere in the outset of the night, Cliff Young in his overalls, he shuffled past the toned runners half his age. And by morning light, toothless Cliff Young who wasn’t young at all, he was a tiny shadow–far, far ahead of the professional athletes.
For five days, fifteen hours and four minutes straight, Cliff Young ran, never once stopping for the dark—never stopping until the old sheep farmer crossed the finish line — First. He crossed the finish line first.
Beating a world record. By two whole days.
The second place runner crossed the finish line nine whole hours after old Cliff.
And when they handed old Cliff Young his $10,000 prize, he said he hadn’t known there was a prize. Said he’d run for the wonder of it. Said that all the other runners had worked hard too. So Cliff Young waited at the finish line and handed each of the runners an equal share of the 10K.
And when the old cahoot in boots walked away without a penny for the race but with all the hearts of the whole world.
While others ran fast, you can just shuffle with perseverance. While others impress, you can simply press on. While others stop for the dark, you can run through the dark.
The race is won by those who keep running through the dark.
Could be the year to pull a Cliff Young.
When those reporters asked Old Cliff that afterwards, what had kept him running through the nights, Cliff had said, “I imagined I was outrunning a storm to gather up my sheep.”
Thanks to Dr. Don Worchester for sharing this story. To learn more, go to http://www.truenorthweb.org/.
- What is the “darkness” you’re facing? ( For one example, see http://www.jonhokama.net/meet-your-enemy-resistance-cousin-of-urgent/)
- Cliff Young had an insuperable “big why” that kept him going: gathering his sheep. What’s your “big why?” Is it big enough to keep you going through your “darkness?”