I am a Formula One fan.
Not only have I watched it for years but I’ve also been to the Singapore and Monaco Grand Prix.
There have been few rivalries in motor racing like that of Niki Lauda and James Hunt’s. Theirs is a legendary tale, now depicted in the movie “Rush.” It tells the true story of a fierce competition for the title of World Champion in the 70s.
Near the end of the movie, after Lauda’s infamous motor racing accident, which left him severely burned and fighting for his life, these rivals meet again. Lauda recounts his Doctor’s wise words,
“Mr. Lauda, may I offer a piece of advice? Stop thinking of it as a curse to have been given an enemy in life, it can be blessing too. A wise man gets more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.”
I love that line: “A wise man gets more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.”
I put it this way: “Look for the stars while you take out the trash.”
Lauda’s enemies were twofold: Hunt & his injuries. My enemy is Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
It is a disease with no cure and kills 2 people in Australia each day, while another two are diagnosed. Its sufferers lose all use of their muscles, eventually being unable to walk, move their arms or hands, eat, talk, or breath.
I have this disease (it doesn’t have me) and I have friends who are further down the road than me. When I visit them, I’m looking into the mirror of who I may become, except for a miracle or a cure.
How much do you think that makes me value walking, eating, and breathing now? In this way, my enemy has somehow helped me appreciate what I once took for granted.
Before I was diagnosed with the disease, I hated the interruption of taking the bin out to the end of the driveway for pick-up the next morning. Now I am grateful that I can still do this chore. Not only can I take out the trash, but I can look up and take one more opportunity to see the stars.
I am in awe of the stars, to gaze at God’s handiwork even as I stand amongst the stench of rubbish, this disease, the frustration of my body degenerating: my enemy.
Some have fiercer enemies, deeper valleys, or more rubbish in their life than others, but maybe its also a longer, deeper, and wider opportunity to gaze at the stars and to consider the beauty in the storm.
Our enemy, whatever it looks like, instead of bringing evil, may just with God’s help bring some good. What I am endeavouring to do in the midst of my challenge of MND is allow it to do what sometimes only an enemy can do: bring to the surface treasure once hidden.
I think if you allow wisdom to have its way you too can gain something from your enemy.
So walk slowly back next time you take the rubbish out and take a look up. And remember, “A wise man gets more from his enemies than a fool from his friends.”
MND Awareness Week (May 4-10)
Awareness is the first step towards a cure. You may want to also sign the “Five Rights Petition” or even give a donation to the MND Research Institute of Australia.
This week Scott Sullivan, the founder of this organisation sadly passed away. I’m sure the foundation would value any support.