And The Winner Is…

The man who finished first or the man who helped him?

I read and found the story of Iván Fernández Anya inspiring. Not because of the race but because of what he did and the lessons learnt about his action which is now being remembered and acknowledged by most after the action.

On December 2, Spanish athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Spain. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai – bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line.

Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.

Ivan Fernandez Anaya, a Basque runner of 24 years who is considered an athlete with a big future (champion of Spain in the 5,000 meters two years ago) said after the test,”I didn’t deserve to win it,” says 24-year-old Fernández Anaya. “I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.”

What an a,asking action by Anya. His action reminds me of the word of God that says

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Proverbs 11:3

Integrity preserves a man and ensures men keep talking about you years after you e taken action based on your integrity. Integrity preserves!

Fernández Anaya is coached by former Spanish distance runner, Martín Fiz, who said ‘It was a very good gesture of honesty.A gesture of the kind that isn’t made any more. A gesture that I myself wouldn’t have made. I certainly would have taken advantage of it to win.  I wouldn´t have done it. I would have taken advantage of the mistake to win.’

Anaya’s final though on the matter was, ‘even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn’t have done it either. I also think that I have earned more of a name having done what I did than if I had won.’ 

I completely agree with him. Integrity matters and genuinely makes you a winner. I implore you to always choose integrity over personal gain and you will see God lift you beyond your wildest dream.

God is on your side! 


See the story and pictures at


Fight Your Way Back!

I know I wasn’t the only one glued to the tv on Sunday night! After a heavy weekend, I should naturally not be glued to the tv on Sunday evening. However, I had to see history being made as Tiger Woods returned to win another green jacket. I learnt so much from this game and I do need to share one of my lessons with you today.

Tiger has had major personal, marital and health crisis over the last few years. I remember reading an article where he mentioned that his son, 10 year old Charlie, had never seen him win a major and his son just believed that he was just a ‘nintendo’ old time golf player, not a relevant winner. His rating in the world at some point within the last 10 years dropped to 1199th and I have repeatedly heard commentators say he is finished as a sports figure. Many organisations did not believe he could add value to them anymore.

Tiger however mentioned in a few interviews that, he believed very much in his heart that he would still come back and be a major player in the world of golf. His body, colleagues, the press and many other circumstances said otherwise; but he chose to believe so much in himself and fought all the obstacles that would not allow him experience what he wanted.

As Vince Lombardi said, “Winners never quit and quitters never win” and Tiger Woods didn’t quit. He kept pushing through failure, defeat, and huge amounts of physical pain to get back to the winners circle. After five years of managing injuries, he found a way to make it happen. What a lesson! This reminds me of God’s word that says;

‘But as for you, be strong and do not give up for your work will be rewarded.’  2 Chronicles 15:7

Everyone of us that has dreams must pursue them and fight for such dreams irrespective of what we see around us. Tiger, prior to his come back had four operations on his back, the last a spinal fusion. I can imagine his state of mind when the first 3 didn’t work. If he had stopped fighting for what he wanted, we will not be celebrating him today. The press mentioned the unbelievable amount of audience, interest and money that this gentleman’s comeback had and will bring to the world of golf. Just one man’s’ decision to fight for what he wants will affect millions.

If you’re down and out, you can’t give up. You can’t give in. You must dig deep down, find the drive to succeed, find strong reasons why you must succeed and commit to all it takes to achieve what you dreamt. You can never tell how many people will be affected positively by your outcome.

God is on your side!


Patience Pays

A brother came round to do his work briefly from the church office earlier this week. After making some phone calls, he said; ‘wow pastor, it’s good to be patient; right now I have just gained a huge margin (profit) in my business because of patience’. He then went ahead and shared his testimony with me. Without knowing it, God just used him to confirm the story and lesson I planned to share with you today.

(By the way; I took a patience test and will put the link at the end of this write-up so you can try it yourself). So, here is the story and lessons learnt;-

There was a salesman called Ramesh in Kerala, a state in the southern part of India. He was honest, polite and hard working. It was the month of June (the start of monsoon in Kerala) when he got his first assignment in his new office. He was given a list of prospects whom he had to approach and sell the product to.

Surprisingly, he realized that the list was full of local laundry owners! He got scared and thought he wouldn’t be able to achieve the desired target. He approached his manager but got little help, so he went back to his desk, thought for a moment and accepted the challenge as he had no other option.

The next morning he started approaching the laundry owners and within 15 days he got some really nice responses. Almost 80% of them purchased his product but, in credit, and everyone promised to pay him off within the next 15 days. He was delighted as he knew that his job was almost done! But he didn’t know that the next one month was going to be tougher than what he expected. On the last week of June amidst heavy showers he started visiting the laundry owners’ shops to collect money. After visiting half of them, he realized that he had collected not a single penny and the same trend continued for the next 7 days. He was frustrated and demoralised.

Ramesh explained everything to his manager including the peculiar behavior he noted amongst the laundry owners – whenever he knocked. The owners would look at the sky and then ask him to come the next day. Listening, his manager smiled once and said that he was ‘on track’ and would soon get some good results. He never realised for once what the payment had to do with the sky!

After almost 14 days, on a bright sunny Monday morning Ramesh started visiting the laundry owners once again. Though it was in the midst of monsoon season, it didn’t rain heavily for the last three days. Suddenly by noon Ramesh realised that he had collected the payments from almost 50% of the laundry owners which was almost unbelievable!

He worked hard throughout the day and by the day end he had completed 90% of his target for June and July. He was thrilled and so was his manager. By month end, he went on to become the ‘star performer’ for the month of June, July and was handed over the letter of confirmation by the management. It was like a roller coaster ride for him! Yet he wondered what the sky had to do with the payment! Why the laundry owners looked at the sky and tell him to come the next day?

To solve this mystery he went to a laundry owner and asked the same question. The owner laughed at him and said, “Son this is the month of monsoon and we have to wash the clothes, dry them off, iron them before handing them off to the customers. Now, if the sun doesn’t shine how can we dry our clothes, earn enough to pay you?”.

Ramesh recollected his memories and smiled at the owner and realised that it was his patience and endurance that kept him going and ultimately helped him achieve the pinnacle of success. His patience paid off; God’s word alludes to that and today’s verse says;

‘You need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what He promises’ Hebrews 10:36

Patience pays; it helps us receive God’s promises to us. We have to develop patience. Do not give up too easily, do not quit because your victory is coming forth soon.

Are you patient? Will you pass the patience test? Try it out :

God is on your side!