Running Blind

A blind girl joined the high school track team. She liked to run and had been on other track teams before. This was her first day at practice.

To have a blind person on the team was a new experience for all of the runners. The team members were told that someone would need to run with her around the track. A string would be tied between their wrists. That didn't sound too difficult and when no one else was willing Gwen volunteered for the job.

After they were tied together they began a jog. It was a little awkward at first but once they established a rhythm it was quite simple. In fact, it became so easy that they rounded the track several times without any problems. It was then that Gwen felt a slight tug on the string. Gradually the string pulled them away from the inside lanes of the track. Gwen wondered to herself why the blind girl would not want to run in the inside lanes since it meant they would have to run further. Gwen didn't want to be difficult so she didn't say anything. She also decided maybe the blind girl wanted a better work-out and it was good for Gwen to make the extra effort anyway.

The tugging continued as they rounded another bend. This time they came closer to the outside lanes. Gwen wondered, "Where is this girl going?" Not wanting to make a fuss, however, she kept silent.

Suddenly, Gwen went toppling over the blind girl who had tripped over the side of the track. Twisted in the string, bumped and bruised, the two girls climbed to their hands and knees. "What happened?!" The blind girl asked angrily.

Common sense hit Gwen during the fall, she stumbled over her words. "I.I.well.." The next thing Gwen knew, the track coach and other team members rushed to the scene to help the blind girl to her feet. In anger the blind girl jerked the string from her wrist. Gwen, still sitting in the grass, looked up at the others only to find their fingers pointing in her face asking how she could do such a stupid thing. Some even thought she had done it on purpose. By this time Gwen's face was red. Words of explanation were stuck in her throat and the coach asked pointedly, "What were you thinking of?!"

Finding her voice, Gwen said, "I forgot she was blind!" The coach and other team members scoffed. "How could anyone forget such a thing?" Immediately another runner was selected to run with the blind girl and Gwen handed over the string in shame.

Now, before any of us begins to ridicule and call Gwen names like "ditz" and "block-head" let us remove the log from our own eye.

"What?!" we say. "When have we ever allowed a blind person to lead us off of the track?"

It may not have been as obvious as it was in Gwen's situation but we have all been lead by the blind at some point in our lives. Sometimes we are tempted to be lead by man and not by God. People don't always realize they are pulling on our spiritual strings, simply because they are just as blind as the girl Gwen was tied to.

Staying on our spiritual track can be difficult if people around us are not remaining obedient to God. Many times we don't speak out when something is wrong because "we don't want to make waves." This means our fear for man is greater than our fear for the Lord. The Bible says in Matthew 10:28, "And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Gwen didn't want to make waves and look where it got her: down on the ground and out of the race.

As Gwen was being pulled to the outer lanes she should have looked ahead at the consequences. She should have asked herself, "Where is this leading us?" As a Christian, we always need to ask ourselves the same question.

There once was a congregation who decided to allow women to pass out the Lord's supper. Shortly thereafter women were allowed to make announcements. As time went by they were reading scriptures. After that, women were leading songs, prayers and preaching in church. A lot of time went by before the congregation reached this last stage of sin, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

Running off of our spiritual track usually doesn't happen all at once. It is a gradual process. When we see the church taking small steps toward the outside lanes we need to speak up before it is too late. We should speak up out of love and with gentleness, not scoffing or scorning our brother and sister (team member), lest they leave the track voluntarily. Galatians 6:1 says, "Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted."

Therefore, we had better not get too comfortable in our race, as Gwen did. We should "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" Philippians 2:12. We should "be alert," 1 Thessalonians 5:6. And we should "stay sober in all things," 2 Timothy 4:5. Let us stay on the right track and not allow others to pull us off of it like Gwen did.

Though Gwen felt very stupid for what she did, she learned a valuable spiritual lesson from her experience with the blind girl. I know this because I am Gwen.

Sandi Rog

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New American Standard Bible.
Copyright ©1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995
by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California, U.S.A.

Published in The Old Paths Archive