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One-legged Wrestler Seeks State Title


Today’s headlines are dominated by Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination hearings and the ongoing debate over health care. Meanwhile, an unusual high school wrestler interests me so much that I’d like to focus on his story this morning.

“He’s been very vocal about his goals: wrestling in a national championship, becoming an NCAA champ, not just a state champ.” That’s how Kobey Pritchard’s wrestling coach describes his protégé’s motivation in the Iowa state wrestling tournament. What makes Pritchard different from his competitors? He wrestles without a left leg.

Kobey was five years old when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in his left femur. Doctors removed the leg when he was six. Now he’s ranked number four in the state in his weight class. His drive and determination are inspiring his teammates and his fellow competitors.

In other news, Norway has taken over the top spot in the World Happiness Report. This despite the fact that oil, a key part of its economy, has plummeted. What accounts for Norway’s happiness? The report’s lead author explains: “It’s the human things that matter. If the riches make it harder to have frequent and trustworthy relationship between people, is it worth it? The material can stand in the way of the human.”

Martin E. P. Seligman is a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the bestseller, Authentic Happiness. Dr. Seligman describes three kinds of “work orientation”: a job, a career, and a calling.

A job earns you a paycheck and nothing more. A career entails a deeper personal investment in your work. But a calling is a passionate commitment to work for its own sake. According to Dr. Seligman, finding your “calling” is the key to authentic happiness.

Whatever your physical or financial challenges, you can choose to live a life that matters. You can chase the fickle applause of our culture or live for the eternal affirmation of your Father.

I hope Judge Gorsuch is confirmed by the Senate. I hope effective health care legislation is passed by Congress. But if neither takes place, eternity will still beckon. What we do today for Jesus will matter forever. Ten thousand millennia after the last Supreme Court ruling is handed down, the Judge of the universe will still be on his throne. And health care will be the last thing we’ll be thinking about in heaven.

My point is not that the Supreme Court, health care, or other pressing issues of our day are insignificant. I’m not advocating for a Christ-against-culture mindset that keeps our salt in the saltshaker and our light under a basket (Matthew 5:13–16).

But I am suggesting that taking the long view is the pathway to peace in the short view. While the Bible never says, “This too shall pass,” the sentiment is biblical: “The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever” (1 Peter 1:24–25). The old chorus is still true: “Kings and kingdoms shall all pass away, but there’s something about that Name.”

Paul testified, “We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen” (2 Corinthians 4:18). Why do you need to join him today?


Publication date: March 22, 2017


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