Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. Romans 14:13 (NASB)
If you know me, you probably know I’m a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars. I love the show. Last night was Disney night, and it was awesome. One of the things I especially love about the show is that they give stars with “disabilities” a chance to shine. It’s unbelievably inspiring to see a deaf man who’s never heard music dance perfectly to the beat, or those who’ve lost limbs to have the grace and balance of a high-wire walker. I’ve heard people describe these stars as having the “sympathy vote.” But they don’t in any way make me feel sorry for them. They make me in awe of the obstacles they’ve overcome to achieve greatness.
Maybe, in these days of ever changing semantics, we need a new word for “disabilities.” Maybe we could call these challenges inspiration opportunities. I’m tutoring a learning disabled young man for my church, and he does so inspire me. He works hard, and tries so hard to please. He’s sweet, and kind, and so respectful in a world where most young people his age seem to feel entitled and self-centered. He has little in the way of financial assets. With no car, he rides the bus to the local community college to take the classes he needs. But he has the determination to succeed in getting his GED. I have no doubt he will.
I think most everyone in this fallen world has a “disability” of some kind or another. Some are more visible than others. That doesn’t necessarily make them more debilitating. Some aren’t physical. They’re emotional or spiritual. These can be even more deadly. The people I feel sorry for are those who take whatever challenge they face and use it as an excuse to give up. This life is meant to be a schoolhouse. School has tests. Some tests are like GRE tests. They challenge us to the core of our being. But they’re also our chance to shine—and inspire others.
Teresa Pollard Author
Teresa G Pollard
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