The carving reads, “ACHIEVED BY DAUNTLESS RESOLUTION.” It is on the west face of the beautiful Wright Brothers Memorial, which stands on a high place overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Albemarle Sound. Erected in 1927, the sixty-foot gray granite memorial is situated upon a ninety-foot hill in Kill Devil Hills. The full carving on the memorial states: “In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright conceived by genius achieved by dauntless resolution and unconquerable faith,” Spreading wings decorate the memorial and depict a large bird taking flight.
My running partner and I had looped the bottom of the monument four times and climbed it once. We decided to climb one last time before we went home, and we were SPENT. As in, call the EMTs, we-may-need-CPR-spent. I actually checked with her as we were climbing to make sure her CPR certification was up to date. As we trudged up this hill, exchanging moans and complaints, we looked up and saw her:
She wasn’t complaining. She wasn’t moaning. She was persevering.
James 1 (NIV)
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
This beautiful, double-caned hiker is our inspiration. There are just some times when you have to push through, keep climbing, and NEVER GIVE UP.
When your rebellious teenager is caught with drugs at a party, don’t give up.
When chemo has completely kicked your backside and you are exhausted, don’t give up.
When your spouse refuses to acknowledge the alcohol addiction that is damaging your family, don’t give up.
When you get fired for things completely outside of your control, don’t give up.
When life comes at you with hurricane force winds and your roof blows up, don’t give up.
When brain tumors, infidelity, bankruptcy, scandal, divorce, and any manner of evil blocks your climb, don’t give up.
Romans 5 New International Version (NIV)
Peace and Hope
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Perseverance. Pushing forward. Developing character. Receiving God’s hope. That is what this lady was doing up the hill to the monument, and that’s what many of you do every day.
So to the ones who are struggling today…the cancer survivors and fighters, the women in the Georgia prison, the moms and dads who lose sleep over their kids at night, the addicts and their families, to all of us…keep climbing. Your crown of life awaits, and God is with you all the way.
Never give up.