Many years ago, when my daughter Angela was in sixth grade, she decided she’d like to run track.  Angela was not athletic like her brother—who excelled in any sport he showed interest in—but of course, we encouraged her.  Angela was our social butterfly and we figured her friends were all joining track and that was why she wanted to run.

My husband took her to practices and before long it was time for the first meet.  Angela was up with a group of boys and girls all set to run.  To my surprise, I noticed there were hurdles set up in her path.  I was shocked—not one person had mentioned anything about hurdles in this race.

Well, off they went.  Angela was running beautifully until she came to the first hurdle, where she fell . . . right on her face!  

My immediate response was, “Why in the world did they make her jump hurdles when she’s just begun running track?”

I started to make my way down to pick her up and take her away from this horrible sport.  Just as I got to the gate, Angela picked herself up. 

Don’t do it, Angela, I thought. Stay down. Momma will take you away from this ridiculous sport.  Who invented this anyway?

Suddenly, she began to run. She cleared the first hurdle, then the second and the third!

Oh my, she was poetry in motion.  She looked like a gazelle leaping over one hurdle after another.  She was born for this sport. Look out Olympics, here she comes!

Needless to say, Angela never went to the Olympics.

But I learned a lesson that day . . .  

Many times in life we face new challenges and adventures: some we have trained for—without realizing it, and others which are actually part of our training.  Our Heavenly Father could come rescue us, but He doesn't, because then we would never discover what we are capable of doing. And we would never experience the joy of winning the race.

Let us embrace the lessons God has for us and rejoice in the hurdles and stumbles of life, so that we may get back up again and learn to fly, like gazelles, over every obstacle.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. -James 1:2-3



Ruthy Valco and her husband George were the lead pastors at Calvary Temple for 22 years prior to the merger with City Life Church. Ruthy is now City Life’s Office Coordinator and leads the Power Within life group. She says her greatest joys in life are her young grandchildren Nicolas and Evie, and that she is on a quest to impart to them the love of storytelling instilled in her by her grandparents.

Ruthy Valco