Usain Bolt is the world’s fastest man. In 2008 he broke the world record for the one hundred meter run three months before the Beijing Olympics. Since then he’s dominated every competition. But that didn’t prevent the six-foot-five Jamaican from being disqualified at the 2011 world track and field championships held in Daegu, South Korea. Crouching at the line for the one hundred meter final, Bolt jumped the blocks early, which disqualified him from the race.
Fellow runners were stunned. Bolt was the latest to fall victim to a new rule referred to as “one and done.” One false start, and the favored athlete was erased from the competition. The rule was adopted to accommodate television broadcast schedules and fans who disliked waiting through countless false starts for races to begin. Prior to that, each runner had been allowed a second chance.
Fortunately for us, God doesn’t have a “one and done” rule. If he did, who on the planet would be left to run the race spoken of in Hebrews:
“Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (12:1).
The truth is, God is even more familiar with our failings than we are.
And still he loves us.
That’s the miracle, the good news that’s worth celebrating every single day of our lives. If you’ve fallen prey to the lie that God couldn’t possibly forgive you for what you’ve done or how many times you’ve done it, decide today to reject it. Don’t dignify it by giving it a hearing in your heart. Instead, find a way to show God you are sincerely sorry. Commit to making amends. But rest in this truth and let it shape the race ahead: as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed your sins from you.