Have you ever seen the show America Ninja warrior? I love this show. If you have never seen the show, it is a reality show where people run through an overwhelmingly hard obstacle course that requires pure, brute strength and athleticism to get through each obstacle. The goal is to make it to the finale, a chance to try and conquer the infamous “Mount Midoriyama”, an insane obstacle course that no man has yet to defeat.
One aspect of the show I love is the camaraderie of the contestants. They are like brothers. They cheer each other on as they all run the course. The competition is with the course, not each other, and they want to push each other to be the best “Ninja” they can be. While they all want to conquer the course, the goal is defeating the obstacles, and they don’t care who does it!
Recently, I watched one of the qualifying rounds. This course was brutal. No one was finishing it. No one was climbing the last obstacle and hitting the buzzer. Veteran after veteran failed. Then a new Ninja took the course.
This young, new ninja attacked the course, methodically conquering each and every element. At the end of his run, He was the first to make it all the way to the top.
What stood out to me the most about his run was not his effort, but the reaction of all the other guys who had run the course before him. They could have been jealous that he out did him. They could have booed or badmouthed him. But they didn’t. They walked along each obstacle, shouting encouragement and cheering him on. When he began to struggle, they shouted encouragement that he could do it. And when he reached the top of the last obstacle and hit the buzzer, they all celebrated as if they had been the ones who finished the course.
As I watched this, I screamed inside, “That is how it needs to be in God’s kingdom! We need to stop having turf wars and stop making sure everyone knows our successes. We can’t keep holding people back to make sure we hang onto our area of ministry or service. Instead we need to set the bar for the next generation to shoot for, and then scream and holler encouragement at them as strive to go even further in God’s Kingdom. Then we need to celebrate like crazy when they reach the goals we were unable to achieve!
That is our calling in life. We need to realize that our generations ceiling is the next generations floor. We need to give the younger an example to try and surpass, and then we need to celebrate with them when the surpass us. It’s how we continue the legacy of godliness.