May 7, 2018

Exceptional Gifts

By: Hannah Beaven [Newburgh, IA]

Last spring I joined the Unified Track team at my school.

On this team, students with and without special needs train and compete in track meets. Although students with special needs are often stereotyped, running with this team has allowed me to see the wonderful gifts of each individual.

Unified Track Team

First Corinthians 12:4–6 reminds us that although we have different gifts and ways of serving, God is at work in each one of us.

From my teammates I have learned to:

  1. Stop and smell the roses. My buddy, Cody, raced hard and fast; but off the track, he liked to take his time. At first, I was impatient with Cody’s relaxed pace. But he helped me to see that slowing down and appreciating a bit of rest allows God to re-energize me.
  2. Create community. My favorite moments of the season were when we came together to cheer for one another and to celebrate our successes: lining the track to spur on a team member, passing the baton to complete a relay, and taking group photos after a meet. These moments reminded me what it means to be part of a team.
  3. Love life. At the end of the season dance party, our team danced with unabashed joy, reminding me that life is to be lived and shared with others. Getting to know all of my teammates has made me grateful for all the unique people in my life.

THINK ABOUT IT: When have you taken the time to discover how special another person is? What might happen if you made this a habit?

Reflect and Pray

Take some time to think about the people who drive you crazy or whom you avoid at all costs. Consider what might be going on beneath their annoying habits. Ask God to help you see them and love them.


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