Worth it (not halfway)
20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
Rick Hoyt, a quadriplegic who raced in the Boston Marathon and other races in a wheelchair pushed by his father, died Monday, his family announced. He was 61.
In a statement, the Hoyt family said Rick died of complications with his respiratory system.
“Rick along with our father, Dick, were icons in the road race and triathlon worlds for over 40 years and inspired millions of people with disabilities to believe in themselves, set goals and accomplish extraordinary things,” the Hoyt family statement read.
The father and son pair were race enthusiasts who participated in more than 1,000 other races, including duathlons and triathlons.
Rick Hoyt had cerebral palsy but he, with the tireless devotion of his father, Dick Hoyt, completed the Boston Marathon 32 times.
“It’s hard to believe they both have now passed on but their legacy will never die. Dick and Rick Hoyt have inspired millions around the world,” said Dave McGillivray, the race director of the Boston Marathon.
He added: “We will always be grateful, Rick, for your courage, determination, tenacity and willingness to give of yourself so that others, too, could believe in themselves, set goals and make a difference in this world as you have.”
Team Hoyt raised awareness to those who struggle with disabilities and inspired millions in and out of the running community.
The father-son duo swiftly garnered fame and became so widely known that the Boston Athletic Association named its advocacy and inclusion award, the Rick & Dick Hoyt Award. It is given out each April to someone who best exhibits these qualities.
A testament to their enduring spirit, the pair completed a run and bike across the U.S. in 1992. They traveled 3,735 miles in 45 days.
They were again honored in 2013 when a statue of Rick and Dick was erected near the Boston Marathon’s starting line in Hopkinton.
Dick Hoyt died in 2021
Dick Hoyt ran a lot of miles pushing his boy. You think he would say it was difficult? You think he would say there were days he didn’t want to train? In the end do you think he’d say it was worth it? So ….we’re saying sometimes the hardest things are “worth it”?
We’re in the Book of John and Jesus is giving his farewell discourse to his disciples (he is headed to the cross). The last few weeks we have talked about the hatred of the world for the disciples and the Hope of the Holy Spirit coming and what that means to believers and to the world. This week we will talk about the cost of getting there and is it worth it. What cost are you talking about preacher?
 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.”  So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?”  So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.”  Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?  Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.  When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.  In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.  Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Context: They are about to lose Jesus (but he just told them the Holy Spirit is coming). They are about to lose him in the worst way possible, right? Betrayal by a disciple, kangaroo court between the Jews and the Romans and then brutal beating and crucifixion (capital punishment) in front of the whole world. It is painful, depressing, disheartening and their hopes are crushed. They really don’t understand what’s coming.
So what is he telling them? You will see all of this and be sorrowful but it will turn to joy (it will all be worth it).
How do they know it’s true? They’ve seen the miracles and heard him preach and experienced his love, but they don’t fully understand yet, but they think they trust him, they will know when they see Him raised from the dead and come and talk with them and eat with them and show them His scars……So kinda like us right? If we believe how much? Thankfully our salvation doesn’t depend on how much faith, it depends on God…so if we have the faith of a mustard seed we can move mountains right? But reality is that God is who has worked in our hearts and it’s up to us to respond. When though would that stop? I’m not talking about losing your salvation, but about are we pushing through or are we doing it halfway?
What is this passage telling us? It hurts but it’s worth it.
Why should we hope? This is all true.
What difference does it make? There’s going to be pain either way, but this helps to make sense of it.
Are we just waiting for one day by and by? Yes, and No. Surely we’re waiting for what the Bible describes as our eternity in Heaven. No more tears and pains, but we are shown that even in this life there is joy amidst the struggles. Right? For all the heart doctors and cancer treatments and funerals there are healings and weddings and anniversaries and babies and sometimes grand babies.
Why does this seem to keep coming up? (Trials of this life?) Our God is real and not a liar. He’s not blowing smoke. The other religions put it on you to be good enough. You can spend your life waiting and wondering and then hopefully you’re good enough. I’m out on that. I want no part of it.
Jesus says (we’ll study it next week):
 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Is it worth it? Yes
If it’s not worth it. Pack it up.
What are your other options? Do it your own way. “How’s that working out for ya”?
I keep saying this….If Jesus is real. It changes everything. (Not half way)
Jesus didn’t do the job halfway. Neither should we.
Eric Liddell is famous for his 1924 Olympic race as depicted in “Chariots of Fire” and his refusal to run on Sunday because of his faith. Yet, much of what made his life significant happened after the movie.
Eric Liddell was born in 1902 to a missionary family in China. On a furlough, Liddell was enrolled into a missionary boarding school. Here he started participating in athletic events including rugby and track.
In college, Liddell earned a Bachelor in Sciences. At first, he was competed in both rugby and track, but he decided to pursue only track in the 100 meters. He was the one of fastest runners and many times won the event many time. His growing fame opened up opportunities to share the Gospel with others in England who otherwise would never go into a church.
In 1924, Eric Liddell was given the honor of running for the 100 meters in the Olympics, but when found out it was scheduled for Sunday, he refused to run believing Sunday to be the Lord’s Day and a day of rest. Scotland criticized him for this decision, calling him a traitor. He was put into the 400 meter race which happened later that week. He won the race and broke the world record at the time in 47.6 seconds despite the fact he was not expected to win it.
In 1925, Eric Liddell gave up and the fame that comes with it for the sake of Christ. Liddell set sail for China to be a missionary. His first assignment was to teach at an Anglo Chinese school. During his time at the school, Eric Liddell taught Chemistry and coached track and rugby. Liddell also taught Sunday school during this time.
One of Eric Liddell’s brothers was a doctor. Liddell decided to go help his brother in 1941.One year later, war began in China. Different groups including the nationalists and communists began fighting each other. In addition, the Japanese tried to take over the country.
Liddell’s to pick up injured people, regardless of position in the war, and to deliver them back to health.
In 1943, all foreigners were interned in a prison camp. With beds pressed together, disease spread rapidly, and inmates only received one meal a day: a piece of bread and a bowl of soup.
Many of the prisoners were full of gloom, not seeing any end in sight to the terrible conditions. Eric Liddell was a light in the midst of the darkness.
He started teaching children chemistry and organizing sports. One day in 1945 Liddell became gravely ill and was admitted to the hospital. There was nothing the doctors could do, and that year, he died of a brain tumor. He was 46.
The whole camp was devastated by the death of the man children called Uncle Eric. Six months later, the internees were released from the camp. Liddell ran the race well.
Compared to many, his life was a sprint, but he kept focusing on Jesus and finished the race.
Think he’d say it was worth it?
Liddel didn’t do things halfway, Dick Hoyt didn’t do things halfway…..Jesus for sure didn’t do things halfway.