Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sometimes It's Okay To Lean

This is a follow-up on my previous post on the Olympics. There have been some great, inspiring stories that have emerged from the Olympics. One great example took place in the Barcelona Games of 1992. A British 400 meter runner by the name of Derek Redmond was competing in the semi-finals. Watch what happens:  

There are some great lessons here for all of us.

We need each other. Some people think that needing other people is a sign of weakness; far from it. Each of us were created to function better in community. There are times when our best efforts, while inspiring, just are not enough. There are times when life knocks us down and we just don't have the strength to get up on our own. In those times, especially, we learn to thank God for friends.

I like what Kurt Vonnegut said: “What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” 

In hard times, we learn who our friends are. The Parable of the Prodigal Son tells the story of a young man who demanded his inheritance early and then left home on a great adventure. As long as he had money, he had friends. But when the money ran out, he quickly found out they weren't real friends at all. Real friends walk in when the fake ones walk out. Who is there for you when no-one else is? Hold on to them tightly. If you're having a hard time finding anyone to be there, remember what God says: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Sometimes the reward comes from finishing the race. Very few people remember who won that 400 M race, but anyone who saw it will always remember Derek Redmond and his father struggling over the finish line. We felt his pain when he pulled up with the hamstring injury; and then we cheered for him when he struggled to finish on his own. Finally, when his father broke through security to help him, everyone urged them on.

Why? I think because we all relate to hard times. Each of us has been in a situation when, in spite of our best efforts, everything went against us. We know how hard it is to suck it up and keep on going. We know how hard it is to watch those we love suffer. And, yes, we all know that there are times in our lives when we need the support of those around us. Sometimes it's okay to lean.

Related Articles:
There's More to Life Than Gold Medals
Life Lessons From A Fellow Traveler
More Life Lessons From A Fellow Traveler
If I Had It To Do Over Again...

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