Help someone be a “Rudy”

Football Ball On Grass in a Stadium

This afternoon, John and I watched a movie that we had not seen in years, “Rudy.” Earlier this year, John got to hear “Rudy” speak at a Rotary event and we wanted to watch the movie again. It was so much fun! During the holiday season, if you want a great movie with the whole family (a movie that will make no one blush), get this one. It’s a great story.

For those of you who never saw the movie, here’s a summary. A boy is born into a hard-working, blue collar, Catholic family who are huge Notre Dame Football fans. The boy decides early in life that he will attend Notre Dame and play football for the university. Unfortunately his grades, physical size and athletic abilities do not support his dream. He works incredibly hard for many years and he achieves his goals. Although Rudy is technically on the team, he does not dress out for games.

(OK, “dress out” is a term from my junior high PE days. If it is not appropriate for males on a university football team, I do apologize. Please edit as you see fit.)

At the end, Rudy is only allowed to be on the sidelines for one game because someone else gave up their place. The scene in the movie brought me to tears…player after player brought their game jersey to the coach’s office, offering to give up their place on the team so that Rudy could play.

The story reminded me of so many times in my life when I was on that trip, in that room, giving that presentation, at that table, with that group, singing that song, eating that meal, enjoying that evening because someone went out of their way to include me. I didn’t have the grades, talent, experience, money, social standing or political contacts to merit that position. There is no question, I have benefited because others gave me a gift of status that was far beyond anything I deserved.

We have so much. We are so blessed. This year, let’s look for someone who needs what we have so easily. Take them in. Shift the spotlight. Speak comfort. Add a place at the table. Hold a hand. Make an introduction. Buy a meal. Spend some time. Invite them with you. Spread the joy. Buy an extra ticket.

We may change a life.

Friend, I pray that this year we will “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above ourselves, not looking to our own interests but each of us to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

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