If blindness is no excuse


You probably can’t pole vault. Pole vaulting is hard.  It looks exhilarating, but there are demands and even risks. I am a little partial to pole vaulters.  My son came within an inch of clearing sixteen feet.  Very few people pole vault, even fewer clear five meters.

Psalm 18:29, “For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall.” NKJV


Pole vaulting requires intense focus, strength, flexibility, coordination and guts.  It requires a lot of guts.  The vaulter must run hard down the runway, plant an awkwardly long pole into the box (AKA hole in the ground), catapult into the air fully inverted then free fall and land on the pit.   It is a great sport for adrenaline junkies.

Proverbs 21:17, “You’re addicted to thrills? What an empty life! The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied.” MSG


Charlotte Brown is a Texas teenager who can clear eleven feet.  That’s exceptional for a high school girl.  It’s phenomenal for a blind person.  I’ve never met her, but I am confident we would get along.  She sprints down the runway and plants the pole when she hears a beep. Then she goes for it.  Eleven feet.  Look up. Most ceilings are eight feet high and remember she is upside down. Probably one of the reasons I am so sure I would like her.

Job 29:15, “I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.” NIV


Most people set limits for themselves.  We are convinced we cannot achieve a particular goal because we lack a particular ability.  Charlotte cannot see, but she is certainly not limited.  To pole vault, you have to train like crazy,  listen to coaches who know about pole vaulting and get the help needed to overcome any obstacles.  It’s hard and it can be painful.

Ecclesiastes 3:9, “What does the worker gain from his struggles?” HCSB


When callouses rip off your hands leaving them raw, it hurts.  Twisted, swollen ankles make it difficult to walk and impossible to run.  Repetitive twisting can break your back, literally. These are just the set backs my son faced from pole vaulting. Most people never have the guts to try.  But just like pole vaulting, life requires focus, strength, flexibility, coordination and guts.  A lot of guts.  It is scary and there is potential for serious pain and injury. So what are we to do? My father always said,

Tweet: It is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all

Plant the pole and jump swing. Don’t make excuses.

There are reasons Charlotte can pole vault even though she is blind

  1. She is willing to try
  2. She trains hard and tries hard
  3. She overcomes her fears
  4. She has a really good excuse, but doesn’t use it
  5. Her limitations do not limit her
  6. She uses adaptive equipment and listens to her coaches
  7. She doesn’t listen to the majority who say blind people can’t pole vault

Exodus 3:11, “And Moses said unto God, Who am I , that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” KJV


Often God calls us to do ministry way out of our comfort zone. Like Moses we reiterate the reasons we are not qualified for the task forgetting, or ignoring, He is the one with the ability. What are your limitations?  Do you have a better excuse than blindness?  As they say in pole vaulting,


2 Timothy 3:17, “so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” NIV

I would love to hear how God has called you out of your comfort zone.

2 thoughts on “If blindness is no excuse

  1. Oh boy, did I need to read this. I have been struggling with life here lately and then God calls me out into deeper waters. Is He nuts? I suppose nuts about me. I know He has great plans for me, and desires me to be great and do even greater things for His Kingdom. He has called me to be a teacher. Not much of a title from the outside, but from the inside it is terrifying. I will help steer the lives of young adults and help them become…well, them. God called me to this ministry several years ago. While many doors have swung wide open for me to ensure the will of God, there have also been many that I feel as though I’m staring at, just waiting for them to open. It’s the same feeling as standing next to the coffee pot and waiting to pour that first cup. That coffee pot takes its sweet time when you stare at it like that. As I draw closer to graduation (this December) I am finding that I am really out of my comfort zone.
    Here’s to having guts!

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