Allegedly our most common disturbing dreams are of us in ‘free-fall’ or ‘buff naked’! Vaguely I do remember skiing over cliffs and falling till I woke with a start. Similarly, when I used to write sermons out, I sometimes preached stark raving naked after forgetting my notes. Perhaps due to being less prone to worry or simply being completely ‘cream-crackered’ at bedtime, I don’t dream as much.
Last week Stu, Linz and I took Greenwood Academy 1st – 3rd year assemblies on ‘All-Ability over Disability’. We celebrated Largs’ 13 year old Abby Kane’s Paralympic silver, tried blind football ‘keepy-uppies’ (not easy!) and talked about how we all have disabilities. Wearing bifocals betrays my slight sight disability; my limp, after playing 5’s, highlights I’m not as able to shake off injury as before. We all have things we’re unable to do, and fears which paralyse and prevent us from doing certain things.
Arnold Palmer, the courteous, charismatic, golf champion, has sadly died (87), leaving a wonderful legacy. Apparently Palmer had a terrible “fear of flying”, which led him to pursue his pilot’s license, logging 20,000 hours of flight time in 55 years!
Sometimes we can determinedly overcome disabling fears to do what we once dared not do. But it’s important to celebrate what we ‘can do’ rather than worry about our disabilities. I had great fun with athletes at Commonwealth and Paralympic Games, where we celebrated the tremendous ability of athletes. ‘Disability’ might be useful for pigeon holing and designating, but ‘All-Ability’ is a much better description for inclusive life and living. ‘Differently Abled’ can possibly better describe some abilities. I’m amazed at how acute some blind people’s hearing is, recognising my voice without sight. I’m humbled and inspired by how people, with Down’s syndrome, can live in ‘the now’ and forsake thought of winning, to stop running and help a fellow runner to finish the race together!
What ‘enabled’ Alistair Brownlee to sacrifice second place in the Triathlon World Series, Mexico, to help brother Jonny across the line? Brotherly love! And perhaps the thought, “Mum’ll kill me if I leave him behind!”
Truth is that ‘Who you are’ is more imp
ortant than ‘performance / achievement’, and your ‘soul / inside identity’ key to our behaviour in the outside world. As Jesus hung ‘disabled’ on The Cross, what freed him ‘to forgive’? God’s Love! From deep within his being came t
his amazing LOVE, the beloved ‘Son of God’ able to forgive us all in an act of sacrifice.
As 1 John says, “Perfect Love casts out fear…” Through faith in Jesus, who we are (and growing up to be as beloved daughters / sons of God) inside, is the core identity, to free us in all our relationships and activities, and help us excel in our different abilities.
In Greenwood we easily got budding 1st and 2nd year dancers up for the ‘Are Ye Wise’ dance, but no one had the metal for it in 3rd year, until one lad stepped up to the mark, freed from peer fear. It was fantastic to see Gerry make the simple steps his own and have his peers eventually clapping to the beat. They had been unable to dance on stage, but could celebrate Gerry strutting his stuff. May you be freed from all fear to be ‘who you really are’, ‘Beloved Child of God’ UNIQUELY ABLE!