f you’re anything like me, you save your Olympic viewing for the four-hour (8:00 – midnight) summary report that shows the highlights from the day.
But last night – Thursday evening – one of the best stories from the U.S. team didn’t make it on to our televisions.
I appreciated the eye-popping gymnastics, and the phenomenal gold-medal performances in swimming. But what the network also ran, unbelievably, was preliminary men’s volleyball action and semi-final swimming heats. There’s nothing wrong with those events, but what would have been so hard about including a five-minute segment highlighting the FIRST EVER USA Gold in Judo?
COURAGE and INSPIRATION: 22-year-old Kayla Harrison’s courageous story is one that should be talked about in every elementary and middle-school classroom in America.
For several years, while under the care of her original judo master/coach/sensei/mentor, Harrison was the victim of long-term and systematic sexual abuse. The abuse likely started before she turned 12.
The coach was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison, and has been expelled for life from Judo’s national governing body.
The fact that Harrison won a gold medal offers a huge platform for her simple yet critically important message, and it’s a message that echos the fundamental content of this “Life-Charged Life” blog:
I can’t wait to get started helping others and helping others realize their dream and realize that there’s more to life than what they are living in right there,” Harrison said.
“I can’t wait. I want to help kids realize their Olympic dreams. I want to help kids overcome being victims. I want to help change the sport and change people’s lives.
LISTEN! Did you here that? “Helping others realize that there’s more to life than what they are living in right there…”
The ongoing invitation to “The Life-Charged Life” is an invitation to more. Or, as Jesus said in John 10:10, “More and better life than they ever dreamed of….” (The Message)
In fact, let’s simply conclude this post with Christ’s words in context, John 10:6-10. Jesus had been explaining how the life that matters can be stolen (like sheep from the fold… or a judo student by an abusive coach… or via our long-term resignation to meaninglessness) when we are not connected to the truth and the beauty of the life-charged life, the “life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:19)
Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.