Success doesn’t count unless you earn it.
On April 21st, 1980, 26-year-old Rosie Ruiz took first place in the women’s division of the Boston Marathon. Her victory garnered national attention for two reasons. First, she set a new world record. Second, no one remembered seeing her over the course of the race until she neared the finish line.
Boston Marathon officials launched an investigation and discovered that Ruiz had slipped out of the crowd and entered the race just one mile from the end. It was later determined that she had also cheated in the New York marathon the year before. In that race, she made up ground on the runners ahead of her by taking the subway.
True success is defined more by our character than it is our achievements. Success borne of character develops through hard work over a long period of time (Romans 5:3-4). When we lose sight of that, we take shortcuts, or even lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead. And along the way, we lose our integrity and diminish our character.
Achieving great things takes talent, skill, and hard work. But it also takes character. To be successful at anything, we must be willing to dig deep and struggle through challenges.
After all, we all want to be something. But are we willing to put in the work to become something?