The group of adults who I have the privilege of teaching to use kettlebells vary in their athletic backgrounds. Some people pick up the skill of lifting heavy things very quickly. Most students make steady progress over time. Every now and then someone really struggles to learn to move well for a variety of reasons.
I find the greatest joy in helping that struggling student progress. The student has to first have the courage to start, then the persistence to persevere and practice, and finally the patience to allow their bodies to adapt to the movement over time.
We have a supportive, non-competitive gym environment, but it can still be tough when you feel like you’re the only who isn't getting it in the group.
So that student is the one who makes my day when they step up to a challenge or improve in a weak area. That one improvement is more exciting to me than if the entire group lifted heavier than they ever did before. That one student is the one my husband will hear about when we have dinner together that evening.
That may be why one of my favorite Scripture passages is Luke 15 3-7 about the one lost sheep.
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
An interesting thing about the one lost sheep in the gym is that the other sheep also rejoice when that person makes progress. They might even applaud that person. Before you know it, that lost sheep might inspire others to accept new challenges or to develop a new spirit of gratitude for what their bodies can do.
Aren’t we all lost sheep at some point in our lives, whether spiritually, physically, emotionally or intellectually? Aren’t we happy when someone notices and comes after us to help us?
We can ask the Holy Spirit to show us who needs us and how we can help. One person, powered by God’s grace, can do great things to help another.
“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” ~St Teresa of Calcutta