Lessons from the Fall

Fan favorite Jim Ryun failed to qualify for his event in the Munich Olympics

Fifty years ago this week,
a runner (fouled) would fall.
And though he would appeal, he was denied.
Jim Ryun failed to qualify
to mine Olympic gold.
It was a test by which his faith was tried.

This Munich moment would define
Jim’s character and more.
Who tripped him on the track he would forgive.
So too the IOC top brass
who recognized their error.
Jim learned wounds can’t be licked to truly live.

And live he did. Jim Ryun ran
for Congress. And he won.
The “Kid from Kansas” gave his faith some feet.
Committed to a Christ-like cause,
Jim took his laps in stride
while learning from life’s setbacks and defeats.

Perhaps we, too, can learn from him
when tempted to give in
when others trip us up by their mistakes.
May we, like Jim, refuse to quit
forgiving as we go
while proving what is stretched need never break.