Spend any amount of time with Charlotte resident, Donny Harrison, and you might be fortunate to hear the story of Chester McCullough. Donny played quarterback for the Ohio University Bobcats “back in the day” and Chester was a fellow teammate who played running back and defensive back. During pre-season drills, Donny reminisces about having to run two independent 400 meter sprints around the track while the coaches watched, evaluated, and made notes. The goal was to have your second 400 meter attempt faster than the first one.
Donny impressively completed the first sprint. Now came the challenging part….the second attempt. Making matters worse, Donny was running against the speedster, Chester McCullough, who Donny thought was also on his second sprint.
The two raced around the track, Donny having a slight edge but ever so mindful that Chester might sprint past him at any moment.
But much to Donny’s amazement, he came up on the end of his sprint, still strides ahead of Chester, who had faded somewhat.
“Okay, McCullough….pretty good effort,” came the comments from the coaches. “Now let’s see what you can do on your second lap.” Donny quickly realized that Chester was not his competition that day after all.
Now I’ve heard this story told many, many times by my good friend, Donny Harrison. That event happened nearly 30 years ago, but to Donny, I can see in his eyes it’s as if it were just last week.
Admittedly, I Googled “Chester McCullough” from Ohio University to see what he’s been doing now. His collegiate stats from playing football were readily available over the Internet, but nothing was too obvious to what he’s doing now. I asked Donny one day and he wasn’t sure what ever happened to Chester either.
I find it fascinating, however, that the story of Chester McCullough still has an impact on Donny’s life. We joke around often during our weekly WAWA events about “you’d better keep up….Chester is gaining on you….”. It’s a point of much needed humor when some of us are gasping for air.
We all have a “Chester McCullough” from our past. Some, have more than one. It’s the person who made an impact, whether they realized it or not.
You’ve read before on these weekly devotionals where I talk about God leaving an Advocate for us here on Earth beyond the Resurrection story. That Advocate is here to advise, watch over, and guide us in a number of ways.
Who is the Advocate in your life? Maybe it’s someone like Chester McCullough? Someone from your past who keeps you on your toes, keeps reminding you to push yourself to do your best.
My prayer this week is that we savor those moments where “Chester” appears in our lives. Embrace those times, recall them often, and thank our Heavenly Father for that advocacy that comes from such individuals.
Now….go out an run a 400 meter dash this week….in honor of Chester McCullough!