"A Real Winner"
November 29, 2010
Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 1 Corinthians 9:24
Without questioning the apostle Paul's inspiration, he may be wrong about only one winning the prize.
Allow me to explain.
Molly Shine and Kaylea Rustay were running in the state cross-country championships in Pawling, N.Y.
As they approached the finish line, Shine, who was running well, had her asthma kick in, and collapsed. Rustay, without hesitation, stopped, picked her up and said, "Let's go ... let's finish."
Eventually, they both crossed the finish line.
Now I don't know who won the race that day; I don't know the name of the runner who managed to walk away with the first-place trophy, but I do know that Rustay is a winner in my book.
Her caring for another competitor, her willingness to show compassion is a rare thing in sports or anywhere else. She ought to be commended. Indeed, Rustay has been thanked by coaches, parents and the girl she helped.
In the course of my ministry I have met other folks like Rustay -- folks willing to make a sacrifice for others. Having seen the sacrifice Jesus made for them, being moved by the Savior's commitment that has brought about their forgiveness and reconciliation with the Heavenly Father, they try to reflect that to others.
It is quite possible you know an individual like that.
If that's the case, won't you thank him or her? Either with words, a card, a phone call, or an e-mail let them know that what they have done in their Christian witness has not gone unnoticed.
They probably don't need it.
They probably don't want it.
They may not even know they are that kind of person.
Still it's the right thing for us to do. It's proper to acknowledge someone who is running the race to glorify Jesus and not just for a first-place prize.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in Jesus we have seen and been given the ultimate sacrifice. For those people who, in gratitude for His gracious gift, continue to make a witness of love to others, I give thanks. By the Holy Spirit's power, may I be one of them. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries