When arms matter
October 26, 2005
Those who know me recognize my personality type. While there are at times unfair accusations levied against those of us dubbed Type A's, there is something to be said for its descriptive accuracy. It is for that reason this Olympic story grabs hold.
I make no apology for focusing on goals and working to achieve them. The old line "with no goals, that's what you'll achieve" is true. Such focus, however, can blind us to anything else. Other issues of tenderness and loving acceptance of people in need are too easily ignored.
A fellow airplane passenger told me of his son with Down Syndrome. I foolishly said, "That must be quite a burden for you." He looked at me with eyes of incredulity: "You don't understand. Those with this syndrome are, in my mind, the closest to what God created as our first parents. No one brings me joy as my son."
I was embarrassed and rightly put in place.
In leading, I get mired in the job, the responsibility, the tasks that need to be accomplished. What evades my peripheral glance are the relationships that need tending. If I miss that, I miss what in the end is our witness as Christ's community in the world.
Lord Jesus, today in the headlock hold of agendas, in the rush of deadlines, in the anxiety of not wanting to miss what people count on me to do, hold me in the simplicity of childlikeness so that the "what-is-now-here" and "what-is-yet-to-come" kingdom is what grips my attention, ever leading me to your intents and goals. Amen.
It was the 100-yard dash at the Olympics. The nine lined up and at the sound of the gun were off—except one boy who fell, and lay on the racetrack crying. The other eight heard him and stopped. One runner with Down Syndrome leaned over and kissed him. The others lifted him to his feet and together the nine, arm in arm, walked to the finish line. The entire stadium stood and applauded. This was no ordinary Olympiad—this was the Seattle Special Olympics.