Francena McCorory: ‘No Matter How Fast I Run, it’s Important to Not Get Ahead of God in Life’ (Gospel Light Minute #67)

Francena McCorory
Francena McCorory

She is an American track and field athlete, known primarily for running the 400 meters. She is the NCAA and American indoor record holder in that event. She was also a United States representative to the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and she anchored Team USA to a gold medal in the 4 x 400-meter relay at the 2011 World Championships in South Korea. She was a part of the U.S. Women’s Track & Field team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She and her team won gold in the 4 × 400 meter relay competition.

Before she left for the 2012 Olympics in London, she said of the race, “I want to win for Jesus Christ. It’s a tough race, but if you have faith in God and faith in yourself and just faith in your training and what you’ve been working towards, it can be fun. It’s all about your mindset.” She says of her faith, “I tell my friends and family all the time, ‘Jesus is the one who gave me this ability.’ I can’t get out here and run on the track by myself. It’s all Him. He blessed me with this talent, and I just want to use it to glorify Him. No matter how fast I run, it’s important to not get ahead of God. I make sure He is leading the way on and off the track.” Her name is Francena McCorory.

Dawn Harper and God’s Special Plan for Her Life (Gospel Light Minute #64)

Dawn Harper
Dawn Harper

She is an American track and field athlete who specializes in the 100 meter hurdles. She was the gold medalist in the 100 meter hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. During her time with the UCLA Bruins, she won the sprint hurdles at the US Junior Championships and at the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships. She received All-American honours twice at the 2004 NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship, after coming eighth in the 100 meter hurdles final and taking second place in the 4×100-meter relay. She ran 12.61 seconds to win a silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final. She qualified first at the 2012 United States Summer Olympic Trials and is competing in London.

She says of her faith, “My faith was definitely a part of me growing up. I went to church on Sundays, but I knew that God was real in my life. A lot of people start to look towards God when they get hurt, and when I hurt myself as a sophomore and had knee surgery, the doctors told me I would probably never run as fast again. I was only 15 years old and track was what I wanted to do. So when I came back from that, I realized God had a much bigger plan for me. And then, when I had knee surgery before the 2008 Olympics, that just sealed the deal. I was thinking, ‘There is another plan for me that I may not see for myself. I’m supposed to reach out to other people and show them what God can do because of what He’s done through me.’ I knew that it was all about giving God the glory. And once I crossed the finish line, that’s the first thing that crossed my mind. A lot of people call me the “What” girl because once I won the race, you can watch the footage and see that I’m saying “What” over and over again. But what I was saying, was that from this big ole globe, God chose this little girl from East Saint Louis out of all the kids who have said, ‘I want to go to the Olympics.’ He knew that I could handle this—the knee surgery and all of the things that come with being an Olympic champion. He took the girl that no one thought would win. He chose me. He entrusted me with this. And after that race in 2008, I just broke down crying.” Her name is Dawn Harper.

GLMX #108: How to Win At the Olympics of Life

London 2012 Olympics
London 2012 Olympics

Olympic events get our adrenaline going. The greatest athletes in the world have assembled for the 2012 Summer Games, just as they have since the first modern summer games in 1896.

But it’s not easy to compete in the Olympics. In the triathlon, athletes engage in swimming for nearly one mile, bicycling for nearly 25 miles, and then running for six miles.

Or how about the ten thousand meter races? Or the four hundred meter hurdles races?

Olympic competition is for an elite few. Not many can do these things well. For most of us, it’s hard enough to get out of bed in the morning. And while few experience the olympic thrill of victory, the rest of us are more familiar with smaller successes and the occasional agony of defeat. Life can be tough, filled with “I should’ve, could’ve, or would’ve” and not to mention “Uh-ohs” instead of gold medals.

Fortunately, there is someone who can empathize with our struggles. He suffered the ultimate agony of defeat: total rejection and pain, so we can win at the olympics of life. 700 years before He walked the earth, Isaiah the prophet had this to say about Jesus in Isaiah 53:3, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

Yet He suffered defeat for us. Verse 8 says, “…for the transgression of my people was he stricken.”

And then He had the greatest victory of all time: Rising from the dead! Verse 11 says, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” Jesus defeated death, lives forever, and has made a way for you and me to do the same.

+ Plus, listen to Mandisa singing “Victorious”