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.

Skating Together

Pairs skating is not just for the Winter Olympic Games

“Not good for man to be alone!”
God said when life began.
“To skate through life with joy he needs a pair.
Someone to share the thrills and spills.
Someone to hold his hand,
a partner by his side when he is scared.”

What God intended from the start
is what makes life complete.
A spouse or friend to navigate thin ice.
When sharing joys and sorrows,
we find meaning in each day.
Companionship is needed (not just nice).

Weeping with Those Who Weep

Who can you comfort today?

While slaloming through daily commitments,
other’s expectations
can get in our head
and crowd out our confidence.

As a result, we miss a gate.
We make mistakes.
We question our competence
and replay our regrets.

We temporarily forget that CHAMP
is spelled with an A and not a U.

We long for a shoulder to cry on
and hear someone who believes in us
remind us what we are capable of.

We need to know we’re not alone.
We need to realize that others understand.

And once we realize that the thrill of victory
and the agony of defeat is a common to our race,
we need to be at the finish line (or before)
to comfort those in pain.

Who can you comfort today?

“Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15