WHY YOU CAN’T
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
IT’S A GREAT SPORT
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
BUT IT’S NOT REALLY A GREAT SPORT FOR BLIND PEOPLE
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
DISABLED OR ENABLED?
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
LIFE IS HARD AND PAINFUL TOO
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,
Plant the pole and jump swing. Don’t make excuses.
There are reasons Charlotte can pole vault even though she is blind
- She is willing to try
- She trains hard and tries hard
- She overcomes her fears
- She has a really good excuse, but doesn’t use it
- Her limitations do not limit her
- She uses adaptive equipment and listens to her coaches
- 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
SEEN ANY BURNING BUSHES LATELY?
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,
GO HIGH OR GO HOME.
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.