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God has always honored persistence. I have always appreciated Emmitt Smith. I was glad to see him set the NFL rushing record last Sunday. He isn’t as flashy as Walter Payton or Barry Sanders, and he never possessed true break-away speed. But his strength lies in his ability to persist–he just kept on running.

He has run for 16,743 yards. That’s 9.5 miles! It has taken him 13 years to run only 9.5 miles. What’s the big deal about that? I ran more miles than that on the Rose Rudman trail this past week! The big difference is, I didn’t have 11 huge defensive players trying to take my head off when I ran! Emmitt’s average run over those 9.5 miles was 4.3 yards at a time. That means he has been tackled and knocked down 3,983 times. And do you know what he did after every tackle? He got back up and ran the ball again. Sure, he was injured a few times, but he always returned. I’m impressed that someone would be knocked down almost 4,000 times and still they get up and run again.

Even the best of people get knocked down in life, but what sets them apart from the quitters is that they get right back up. Life is full...

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