Ellie Black’s Stumble

I write this blog with a huge mix of emotions.  The Canadian Woman’s Gymnastics Team didn’t make it to the Team Finals at the Olympics.  We had such high hopes, and we were gripped to the television on Sunday night, cheering and shouting at the television, only to watch the unimaginable happen.

The devastation all started at their first rotation on the balance beam.  Four girls get to compete, and the top three scores are added together to give them a score on each event.  If a gymnast falls off the beam they lose and entire point.  This is a huge deduction for a gymnast, and if Canada wanted to make it to the Team Finals, they had to have at least three of the four gymnast “stick” their routine.  This means that they do not fall off the beam.

Guess what?  Two of the four girls fall off the beam.  We couldn’t believe our eyes.  Our favorite gymnast, Ellie Black from Nova Scotia, was one of the gymnasts that fell.  She was Canada’s chance at a medal in the Event Final round.  She was a strong beam performer and had medaled on this event at the Panam Games, so all she had to do was “stick” her routine.  Sadly, this didn’t play out as planned.

As I study the book of James, I’m falling in love with this part of the scripture.  James, Jesus’s half- brother has so much wisdom in every verse and as I read James 3:2, “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, fable also to bridle his whole body.”  In other words, nobody is perfect.

The camera zoomed in on Ellie’s face, and I could see the disappointment in her eyes.  I just wanted to give her a hug and explain, we all stumble!  We all make mistakes.  Nobody is perfect.  The Olympics doesn’t define who she was as a gymnast.  I had so much I wanted to tell her through the television screen, but of course, she couldn’t hear me.

When I look back at my own life, oh how I have stumbled!  Thank goodness I have forgiving people in my life.  I’m fortunate to have people that supported me through all my stumbles.  It’s easy to see our own stumbles and want people to forgive us, but when it is the other person stumbling we tend not to be so supportive, and it is difficult to forgive people.  I know.  I’ve been there.

How many of us have people in our lives that seem to continuously stumble and hurt us?  Maybe it is a friend, a family member or even your spouse.  Some stumbles are harmless and easy to forgive, but when people we love stumble big time, it is harder to forgive.  Just like Ellie Black.  The sad thing is if she lets this stumble on the beam manifest inside of her, she might never be the same.  She stumbled at the Olympics.  Is there a bigger stumble?

We have to realize that we all stumble.  Even people we love will hurt us.  We may ever hurt ourselves and never forgive ourselves.  We have to learn to forgive these people, and most importantly ourselves.  We have to learn to let go of this negative emotion and move forward, otherwise these unnecessary feelings fester inside of us.

Learn from your stumbles, and realize, you aren’t the only one who stumbles and that people you love and hold in high regards are going to stumble too.  Be patient with your Stumbler and yourself and make changes in your life so that you will not make that same stumble again.   God wants you to take your stumbles, and help others that have stumbled this way too, and make them realize that they aren’t alone.

Ellie Black didn’t let this negative emotion fester in her.  This lady definitely moved forward, because Thursday she came back to compete in the All Around Competition and came 5th place overall!  That is the best a Canadian gymnast have ever placed in the history of the Olympics.  This incredible athlete recovered from a stumble to sketch her name forever in Canadian Olympic history.

How’s that for learning?  Way to go Ellie!  Nobody will remember the stumble, but everyone will always remember the victory!  All of Canada is very proud of you!