Tuesday, February 8


One of my favorite things about gymnastics is that it teaching life lessons.  Most of the time, the little girls don't even realize they are learning more than gymnastics.  As a coach, I also get to learn from their experiences.  Over the past two weeks, I have had two different girls wipe out on the beam.  One was a tiny kindergartner who was learning how to turn on her tipy-toes, or as we call it, in relevĂ©.  The other girl was a year older, more experienced, but lacked self-control. She was practicing assemblĂ©s on the low beam.   The first girl slipped as she turned, straddling the beam with her legs and landing on her back on the floor.  She started crying immediately.   The second had not been paying attention and was very sloppy as she hopped from one leg to two on the low beam.  She missed both feet and smashed her hip into the beam before she fell to the ground.

Neither falls were tragic.  In fact, they were both extremely common.  But for these fresh, novice gymnasts, they were wake up calls.  To both girls, I said something along the lines of, "I know this hurts.  You're going to have a bruise.  But that is part of gymnastics.  You will be ok.  Would you rather sit out for a second or keep going?"  The first girl, with tears in her eyes, informed me, "But I don't want to have a bruise!" I couldn't help but laugh a little.

The falls didn't surprise me.  In fact, with the second girl, who had not been listening to my corrections, I even saw it coming.  Having experienced the same falls myself, I could see past the pain and encourage them to keep going.  Until then, they hadn't associated pain with gymnastics.  It was fun, easy, and safe.

This is such a blatant picture of life! We pass through, unaware of certain pains until we fall.  We may know that they can happen, or that they do happen to other people, but until they hit us personally, we often don't think about it.  And then it happens, and we don't know if we can keep going.  And of course, God knows the plans He has for us, and He sees past the pain.

I have been learning recently just how many hurting people there are around me.  They are in serious emotional pain and, whether they know it or not, are longing for peace.  I want to encourage you to pay attention.  We live in a dead, hurting world.  If you are a follower of Jesus, you have the Remedy.  Don't keep it to yourself, pretending that life is painless.  Share it.

"I am leaving you with a gift- peace of mind and heart. 
And the peace I is a gift the world cannot give. 
So don't be troubled or afraid." 
[John 14:27]