I didn’t watch every event in Rio. Not by a long shot. So You, Lord, had to put this one on my Radar Screen. And I am SO GLAD You did!!!
🙂 🙂 🙂
Two women in the 1,500 kilometer race tripped over each other in a qualifying heat. Abbey D’Agostino from Team USA and Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand. Both sprawled on the track. Their hopes for any medal also in the dust.
Abbey jumped up. Nikki was crying, facedown on the track. Abbey bent down and said, “Get up! We have to finish!” Nikki was persuaded… and jumped up, too.
They started to run but Abbey was injured… badly. Nikki stopped to help… but Abbey said “Keep going.” Nikki did… believing Abbey would surely stop.
Nikki crossed the finish line and turned around. Abbey was still running! Half the race distance! Running on a badly damaged knee! Nikkie exclaimed:
“That girl IS the Olympic spirit… I’ve never met her before… Such an amazing woman… I’m never going to forget that moment. When someone asks me what happened in Rio in 20 years’ time, that’s my story… that girl shaking my shoulder (saying) ‘Come on, get up.'”
They medaled after all. The Pierre De Coubertin Medal, given for their extraordinary act of sportsmanship. Only 17 athletes in all of Olympic history had previously received this honor.
It was Abbey’s instinctive reaction in the midst of defeat that Redeemed the Moment. And Begged the Question: Was it only True Olympic Spirit? Or was it something more?
Is she a Christian???
The answer is a resounding YES!!! Abbey said, “God prepared my heart to respond that way. This whole time here, He’s made clear to me that my experience in Rio was going to be about more than my race performance. And as soon as Nikki got up, I knew that was it.”
Did (or will) Nikki wonder about Abbey, too? Will even some of the millions around the world who hear about this? Vital questions… right, Lord?
Because the fallen are all around us.
“… for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
And Abbey’s words are on our lips, too. Because You, Lord, send us to say them: “Get up!”
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
Sometimes we get knocked off stride and fall… our feet tangled up with people and things that inevitably bring us down. And You exhort us: “Get up!”
“… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds… let us encourage one another — and all the more as we see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Longing to embody Your Spirit, Lord…
… more and more…