Friday, August 10, 2012

Faith : Olympic Success


I have many wonderful memories watching the Olympics this year, from the Opening Ceremony with my husband’s family in Wisconsin to watching swimming, tennis and gymnastics on my couch with my husband and my sister.

Faith found me this week and I hope you are inspired as well.

Swimmer Rebecca Soni is fast.  She won the Gold medal in 200m breaststroke and broke the World Record doing it.  Between commercial breaks and races, the footage showed earlier interviews with Soni and her coach, David Salo.

It wasn’t that she tried hard or that she had support that gave me inspiration, it was a simple concept that surprised me.  Rebecca’s coach said that he tried to get her to lengthen her stroke, to be like the other swimmers, but that didn't work and when she did what was best for her, she was golden.  

There is hope for all of us. 

We are not made differently to fit in, we are made differently to succeed in ways only we can accomplish.  Different strokes for different folks I must say!

Ever have a HUGE goal and not make it?  Ever see a friend, a daughter or a sister have an amazing journey and she gets tripped up just before the finish line? 

Oscar Pistorius is a South African runner.  God made him without a bone in each of his lower legs.  His parents made the difficult decision to amputate his legs when he was less than 1 year old and his mother never let him think he was broken.

His title?  Olympian. 

Sure, he already held four Paralympic Gold Medals, but he knew that he was as fast as able-bodied athletes.  His dedication has proven that amputees do not have an advantage when racing against able-bodied athletes, doesn’t that sentence just sound funny, read it again.

Over the last several years his life has been on display for the medical field, athletic councils and the world to scrutinize and it could have broken his spirit. 

He raced on. 

He raced in the preliminary races of the Olympics as the first double-amputee in the Summer Olympics and he advanced.  He raced to the semi-final and did not advance. 

Ever use words like lost, failed, didn’t make it, dead last? 

He did not advance.  Same meaning, but softer words.  Are you making your journey harder than God intended?  Did you know there is only 1 Gold Medal for a race and if you run your own race to the best of your abilities that you will earn one and have an amazing journey along the way?  I am not promising gold medals and I hope you take on the challenge to find your own journey.  Don’t forget to notice whose respect you earned for taking that journey in the first place.  

Oscar did not advance to the finals because other men were faster.

That was Sunday. 

It is Thursday night and today Oscar was supposed to run in the relay for his home country.  His team did not finish.  In the race his team member was tripped up by another runner and they did not finish the preliminary race, Oscar didn’t even receive the baton!  

After a disqualification and an appeal South Africa and Oscar will be going to the finals, despite not finishing the race

Olympic officials said yes to a team that didn’t even finish their race!  Strict... rule following... devout... stuffy referees said GO Race! 

Ladies… did you hear God today?  He may not choose sides, but He helps those along who inspire the world.  

Don’t be afraid to get started even though you are different because great inspiration comes from those who believe.

Let me leave you with this today, a quote from Oscar’s father, Henk.

"Oscar knew growing up that he was different," his father, Henk, told The Associated Press. "But he knew in competition with his friends, which we always encouraged, that he was differently abled. So we don't talk about a disability. We speak about what is your different ability?

Praying that Faith finds you,

~ Laura


Anonymous said...

Laura, thank you for the wonderful encouragement you have given tonight. God creates us all differently, with many different talents. He had created us special in so many different ways. Thanks for reminding me of that. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is beautiful !

~Brenda said...

Very inspiring post!