Down, But Not Out

A devotional by Reverend Dr. Kevin Schwamb

One of the feel good news stories out of Rio this week had nothing to do with a perfect score or gold metal, but with a collision that took place between two runners in the 5,000 meters.  Abbey O’Agostino (a Dartmouth alum) tripped over Nikki Hamblin (from New Zealand), leaving both runners sprawled out on the track while others did their best to avoid them.  Upon realizing what had happened, Abbey assisted Nikki to her feet and then hobbled her way across the finish line, nursing a torn ACL.  Both women embraced after the race, celebrating a victory worth more than any Olympic metal.

The scene reminded me of the attitude that we should have toward one another in the church. The apostle Paul praises the believers in Thessalonica for their love for one another and tells them to continue to “…encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”  The word translated encourage means to comfort or assist by coming alongside of someone in need.  Tuesday’s race is a powerful reminder of how we should be running the race set before us as followers of Jesus Christ. Our ultimate goal is to glorify God while being fully aware of our responsibility to come alongside of those who are running with us.  Take time this week to help a fellow runner who is struggling or injured, so together you can finish strong!