Recently I read the story of Oscar Pistorius of South Africa. He reached a dream by being selected to represent his country at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He will run a leg in the 4X400 meter relay team. This means he will run a quarter mile, as will his 3 teammates. It has been said that the 400 meter run, the quarter mile, may be the ultimate test athletically because it combines speed with endurance. Much of the race is run anaerobically or in other words in oxygen debt.
I can personally attest to this fact. I think the closest I ever came to death was in a 400 meter race. In my younger years, I was a track and field person but I competed in the shorter races as well as the field events. At one particular competition, my team’s 4X400 relay team lost a member at the last moment and I was chosen to fill in. One of my races was the 200 meter run. So I began the 400 meter race as though I was running only 200 meters. At the end of 200 meters, I was out of gas and by 300 meters was really hurting. I will never forget the pain I endured rounding the last turn and heading down the home stretch. My legs felt like concrete and I was in heavy oxygen debt.
So I know a little something about running 400 meter races. And Oscar Pistorius is a world class athlete. He has reached a dream that many around the world have worked their lives to accomplish. Hard work and dedication pays off and it takes rare ability, as well. Now what makes Oscar any different from these hundreds of other athletes?
Did I tell you that Oscar had both his legs amputated below the knee at 11 months old? He could have been one to never walk let alone run. He could have been relegated to a wheelchair all his life. He could have been handicapped; but not Oscar.
He is now known as a ‘Blade Runner’. He runs on two Cheetah Flex-Foot blades, J-shaped limbs that are 16 inches long and weigh a little over a pound each. There is much discussion on whether he will be allowed to compete but that decision will not change the fact that he has changed the perception of disability.
GOD gives each of us talents, abilities, and opportunities. HE then holds us responsible for how we make use of those blessings. The parable of the talents in Matthew 25 notes that HE gives to each according to his ability (verse 15) and will expect us to give an account of our use of them (verse 19).
I remember writing in my younger son’s yearbook “For unto whom much is given, of him shall much be required,” taken from Luke 12:47.
If we could tap into the talents GOD has given to each of us, without placing limits and restrictions on ourselves, the way Oscar Pistorius has done, what could we accomplish with our lives?
To GOD be the Glory, Oscar!