Jesus and Our Special Olympics

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.   (Hebrews 12:12)

Have you ever seen the video clip of a Special Olympics race from several years ago about all the kids finishing at the same time?

The clip starts with the kids lined up at the starting line. The gun goes off, and they go charging forward. Midway into the race, one boy falls down. Although he isn’t physically hurt, he just lays down on the track and begins to cry as he watches the other kids running ahead.

But then we see a little girl slow down and stop. She turns around, sees the boy, retreats to him, and helps him to stand. And then we see the child after child stop, turn around, and go back until they’re all together. And that’s how they cross the finish line: together. Who won? All of them. Who lost? None of them.

This race from the Special Olympics is a picture of how we’re meant to run our race with Jesus.

In a real Olympics, some run perfectly. But no one can run perfectly in our race with Jesus, and no one runs flawlessly in life because we all have limps and infirmities, and we all stumble and fall.

In a real Olympics, the winner finishes first. In the Jesus-Special-Olympics, we win when we stop tearing down the track all alone and notice when another runner has gone down. We win when we go to lift them up. We win when we run, or limp, together. We win when we cross the finish line together. Jesus ran His race so that all of our names—and not just one name—would be affixed to the prize.

I encourage us to accept and celebrate that we’re running a Special Olympics together. We need each other to “lift up our drooping hands and strengthen our weak knees.” We’re not here to compete against each other but to complete each other.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are the times and reasons why your hands can droop, your knees become weak, or your own paths become crooked? When do you get tired of “running the race?”
  1. When you have become tired and weary, did you ask for help? If not, how come? If so, who came to help? Do you need to ask for some help, support, and encouragement right now?
  1. What does my statement that in the Christian life, “we aren’t meant to compete against each other, but to complete each other” say to you?

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