For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again. Proverbs 24:16a NIV
Growing up with four older brothers, it was inevitable that I would be an ardent sports fan. Because of this, I consider it a victory that my husband and I have been married for 25 years having NEVER cheered for the same team in any sport! I didn’t realize I had passed on this competitive pastime to my children until recently, when my fifteen-year-old daughter brought something to my attention. The Dallas Cowboys, my favorite football team, last won the Superbowl the year she was born and the time before that was the year my nineteen-year-old son was born. Her answer to this 15 year slump was for me to have another baby! Even though I’m not THAT loyal of a fan, some of my fond childhood memories do involve sports. Thanksgiving holidays with my dad all dressed up in Dallas garb rooting for the Cowboys, family outings to watch the Yankee’s play and cool fall Friday nights watching my brothers play high school football.
But as I have grown older, I have come to enjoy the inspirational stories of sportsmanship more than the competitiveness of the actual games. While reading about the 2012 Paralympics I came upon the following photo. It reminded me of the featured scripture. “For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again” Proverbs 24:16. No matter what has caused us to fall, may we never give up and always get up again.
God also used this photo to remind me that He uses the Body of Christ to lift us up. God sent Nathan to David (2 Samuel 12:1-14), Ananias to Paul (Acts 9:8-18) and Barnabas to John Mark (Acts 15:36-39).
This next Sport’s clip is so inspiring and for me another visual of how we are to help a brother or sister in need–even if it costs us. “The footage was taken by Sue Wallin, a parent at the game. Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon is up to bat against Central Washington. The video picks up as Tucholsky hits her first ever – in her life – home run. Just past 1st base, she tears a ligament in her knee and is unable to run any further. The umpires state that if her teammates or coaches assist her she will be declared out and if a pinch runner is substituted for her, her homer will be declared a single. Hearing this, Central Washington’s Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace offer to carry her around the bases.”
Here is another inspiring Sports clip. Meghan Vogel, a high school Junior, wonderfully illustrates Matthew 19:30 “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”, by helping out a fallen opponent.
Lord, thank you that through repentance and your mercy, we can always get up after we have fallen. And help us to be mindful of those who have fallen around us. May we never look down on someone unless we are helping them up. LH