Who Has Helped You Cross Your Finish Line?


Think of all your mountain-top successes and face-grinding failures. Your valiant victories and deadening defeats. Your golden trophies and locker-room second-guessing. All those wonderful wins and heart-breaking losses.

Before you take too much credit and get swollen with pride or stand on your toes, pointing your finger, blaming everyone in sight, just remember this: For every swig from your victor’s cup, someone, somewhere helped you cross your finish line.

I am honored to count Scott Johnson as a friend. He’s the one with arms raised, celebrating Army Ranger, double-amputee Cedric King’s finish of this year’s 2014 Boston Marathon. After Cedric lost both his legs in an IED explosion in Afganistan, he could have called it quits. For good. But even with prosthetic limbs, he didn’t stop walking or running. Yes, that’s Cedric King kissing the finish line after thousands of Boston Strong spectators cheered him the final 500 yards. A picture is worth a thousand words, isn’t it?

As the executive director of The Scott Rigsby Foundation, Scott is a man with a huge heart for wounded warriors and everyone living with limb loss. He’s also the one who ran and walked with Cedric King every step along the way of the 2014 Boston Marathon. As Scott recently told me the amazing story of his marathon with Cedric, a wave of emotions swept over me.

We learn far more from our struggles, defeats and failures. We all long for victory and its taste is truly a sweet thing. But character and heart is forged in the blazing kilns of injuries, setbacks, discouragement, and repeated losses. It is here that we learn to stop depending on ourselves and to rely on the strength of God that often shows up in the hearts of those around us.

See the word, “Guide” on Scott’s vest. When the race was over, Cedric just hung in Scott’s arms and cried.

I couldn’t, but help think of all the people I’m grateful for who have helped me cross many kinds of finish lines in my life.

My wife, parents, and close friends to name a few…

And so, I have three simple questions for you:

Who has been your guide? Who has helped you cross an important finish line in your life? And who are you guiding?

We all need a guide and we all need to help guide others to their finish lines.

Perhaps today is the day to pick up the phone and call your guide to say thanks?

Or to simply say yes to someone in need of a guide?

We’re not meant to walk alone.

Crossing a finish line is meant to be celebrated with someone.

And I do believe we have a few more finish lines ahead of us now don’t we?

Questions: How has someone helped you cross an important finish line in your life?
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  • Michael W Johnson

    Joey O’Connor (and wife Krista), picked me up when I need a hand up. While in his midst, he planted a few triathlon training seeds and came along side me, swam next to me and biked with me -encouraging me to dream a new dream. Ultimately, he was right there with me at my first race and at the finish line. He lives outside of himself and pours himself into others. Likewise, his writings and his works ring true because he lives from rich experiences in dealing with the human condition as a Christian. His Faith helps him reach further and live a deeper more meaningful life. He reaps what he sows. He endears himself to all that come across his path. Thank you, my friend. Michael W. Johnson

    • http://www.joeyo.org/ Joey O’Connor

      Wow…Mike…I’m speechless and teary-eyed. Your kind words made my day. Love you brother.

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