Thursday, October 13, 2005

Life With No Legs: When things don't turn out right

I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it. I've never seen a man with no legs play football. That's exactly what a recent issue of Sports Illustrated depicted. The young man ran with his hands quicker than you could imagine possible. There he was in the photo, helmet, jersey, legs! Where's the legs? I mean it literally looked like someone dug a hole on the ball field and put him in waist deep. By all standards, life didn't necessarily turn out like he wanted to at first.

The remarkable thing about this story is the positive outlook by this young football player. Although he was faced with the reality of being born with no legs, he did not take that as the final answer. He was at a disadvantage when it came to "normal" mobility. But that isn't how he was going to settle.

As I relate this to Christian spirituality, I think of people I know and love personally who were born to single-parent families, abused as children, neglected or suffered in other ways. I look at my own life and shortcomings. I observe people I know who are working hard, only to find out that life isn't turning out like they thought it would. They want to run the race but seem not to have the legs for it now.

So what does God expect of us? Psalm 103:13 says "The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him." Our responsibility in life as God's children is to fear God. We want his his compassion, his hope, his comfort? We must fear him. But before we jump to conclusions thinking that God only loves people who are afraid of him, let's look at what "fearing God" means. Psalm 128:1b says, "How happy are those who fear the LORD-all who follow his ways!"

So when life seems to leave you feeling "legless" and it's not turning out like you wanted it to, don't go walking away from the very source of your help. Instead of quitting and giving up on God, begin quieting yourself and looking up to God. When things aren't turning out right, turn right to the one who can really help you.

So, what does God really expect of us when life is giving us good and throwing us the bad? Listen to what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person." Don't tell yourself that you can't make it just because it doesn't look or feel like you can't. Just find another way to keep going. I heard there was this guy who was born with no legs. He runs with his hands!

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