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The Special Olympics!

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John Beck used to be a football star for the University of Kentucky. Later on he became a preacher and was named as Chaplain of the U.S. Olympic Teams. For a number of years he traveled with our Olympic Teams all over the world, leading them in their devotions, as well as counseling & praying with many of the athletes.

As he watched these young men and women train for the events in which they competed, he decided that this was a picture of what Christianity really ought to be. 

Here were people who were sincere and fervent and dedicated to the task before them. They were willing to pay any price, regardless of how much suffering or pain they had to endure. They were willing to pay any price to be number one, to win.

Then one day John Beck was invited to visit the Special Olympics. Special Olympics, as you know, are made up of special athletes. All of them suffer from some kind of mental or physical impairment.  

He watched them as eight runners lined up for the 100-yard dash. They all took off when the starting gun fired, and he was amazed at how good they actually were. But as they reached halfway in the race, one of the boys fell down, skinned his knee on the track, and started to cry.  

He said that what happened next was both beautiful and amazing. All seven of the other runners stopped, and all seven of them turned around and went to the boy who had fallen. Together they helped him to his feet. And the eight walked to the finish line together. 

John Beck said that he then realized that he had seen the true meaning of Christianity, not in the Olympics, but in the Special Olympics.

Our highly competitive world seems always to be saying that the only thing that counts is being “Number One.” I understand and appreciate the need for excellence, to be Number One. But I know a better way. Will YOU pay the price to pick up the fallen?

Thanks to Nathan Anderson for the picture.

Will YOU pay the price to pick up a fallen person that YOU encounter in YOUR life?


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