Taking the ‘Cap’ off a Handicap
By Ed Delph
August 14, 2017
I enjoy playing golf. Let me reword that statement. Now that I think about it, I don’t really enjoy it. I tolerate it. Or maybe it tolerates me.
Most every golfer who plays for real has a handicap. Handicaps are set up so everyone comes out even in a golf tournament. If my handicap is 20, and play on a par 72 golf course, I could score a 92 and be even par. On the other hand, the guy who has an 8 handicap and scores 84, scores 76. I scored lower than the guy who scored an 84 because of the handicap. The better a golfer becomes, the less handicap he has.
I like the last statement, the better we become the less handicap we have. I am inspired by many ‘handicapped’ people I see. They are playing basketball. They are contributing to the community. They are doing remarkable things despite their handicap. The more they fulfil their goals, the better they get mentally and emotionally also. Their handicap descends as their life ‘score’ ascends. They are taking the ‘cap’ off their handicap. That takes guts, resolve, and grit. Look at their outcome though. The better they get, the less their handicap puts a cap on them.
A good example of a man who turned a handicap into a blessing is Arturo Toscanini. He owed his success – or at least his chance at success – to the fact that he was very nearsighted. How could that help a musician? At 19, he was playing cello in an orchestra. Since he couldn’t see the music on the stand, he had to memorize it.
One day the orchestra leader became ill and young Toscanini was the only member of the orchestra who knew the score. So, he conducted it without a score and the audience gave him a good hand for it – and audiences kept on doing it. If he hadn’t been nearsighted, he might have continued playing cello in small European orchestras instead of becoming one of the greatest orchestra conductors who ever lived.
Frank Ellis has a great thought on this. “Every single one of us is handicapped – physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually – to a degree; and although we seldom think about it, the person without faith has a far greater handicap than the person without feet.” Someone like that is handicapped without being handicapped in the traditional sense of the word. Caps have capped us from being all that we can be.
How about grudges? The heaviest load any man carries on his back is a pack of grudges. That is what I call a handicap. The worst thing is many aren’t even aware of the load they are carrying. How about an attitude? That is not a very handy cap. It’s a handicap. It’s a mental wheelchair rather than a metal wheelchair. How about unforgiveness? That’s a handicap. It’s a spiritual and emotional vampire in our necks sucking the life right out of us and we don’t even know it.
So, if you are broken in some way physically, emotionally, socially, mentally, or spiritually, there is always a cap in one of those areas that you can remove the cap from. With God’s help and your resolve, wonderful things can happen.
Let me finish with this thought by Raymond Edman. “I have been reflecting on the inestimable value of 'broken things.' Broken pitchers gave ample light for victory. (Judges 7:19-21). Broken bread was more than enough for all the hungry. (Matthew 14:19-21). A broken box gave fragrance to all the world. (Mark 14:3,9). A broken body is salvation to all who believe and receive the Savior. (Isaiah 53:5-6). And what can’t the Broken One do with our broken plans, projects, hearts, and lives?” He takes the caps off some of those handicaps, of course!
Remember, the better we get, the better it gets, even with a handicap or two.
Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com