Have you ever met people who simply exude grace to you? I can name a few people off the top of my head…my parents, my sister, my friends. But today I want to introduce you to some very special individuals who have taught me about grace and what graciousness truly looks like.
When I was at seminary, I had to do fieldwork to receive my degree. I sent letters home to some organizations in North Dakota explaining what I was looking for and if they would have any opportunities. I sent to the Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics ND and so many other organizations. Special Olympics ND contacted me to let me know they had a position open for me.
So I moved back to North Dakota and lived with my aunt and uncle for the summer. During my time at Special Olympics, I got to interact with many Special Olympics athletes. And to this day, my friends, I am so very thankful for that experience that summer because these men and women taught me about the goodness of God’s grace.
I remember selling souvenirs at the State Summer Games when several athletes came to buy a new t-shirt, sweatshirt, etc. They would always ask me my name and I would tell them. Then in return, I would ask them their names and what events they were competing in that day. It never failed that someone needed a larger size and inevitably we were out. But they never got mad. They would ask my opinion and we would find them another new item of clothing to add to their collection.
But, my favorite example of these athletes was watching them compete. Yes, some of them had their competitive side. But for the most part, they simply cheered each other on. They would stand on the podium with smiles spread across their faces; whether they were standing in the 1st place spot or in the 8th place spot. They would be handed their ribbon or have their bronze, silver, or gold medal hung on their neck. After the medal ceremony, these athletes would run around showing anyone and everyone their new prize.
I remember standing there thinking…these athletes are so gracious to each other. They are gracious about winning…and they are gracious about losing. In fact, they are the most gracious athletes I have ever met. (I think our professional teams and athletes could learn quite a bit from them!) And I think we too could learn a thing or two from them as they continue to teach us the goodness of God’s amazing grace.
To learn more about Special Olympics ND, click Here!