Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Friday, January 5 - A Bigger Vision

“Do not withhold good from those whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow, and I’ll give it to you’ — when you already have it with you.” — Proverbs 3:27-28

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Mike Schultz was at the pinnacle of his snocross racing career in 2008, when a devastating snowmobiling accident nearly took his life but did take his left leg. As an athlete, it was difficult to accept the fact that he had now become an amputee, and it was uncertain what his future in his sport or life in general would look like.

But not one to wallow in self-pity for long, Schultz began to mentally construct a vision for his life moving forward and, after learning to walk again on a prosthetic, he designed his own version of an artificial limb that would allow him to get back to doing some of the things he loved.

The innovative technology and design that Schultz came up with led him to start his own company so other amputees could have a similar second chance at adaptive sports and mobility. Along the way, Mike found a new athletic love in snowboarding — and has since gone to two Paralympics and come away with multiple medals. But even more impressive has been the fact that, by his second Paralympic appearance, he was competing against athletes who were using his prosthetics. In fact, one of the gold medalists was actually someone who was using Mike’s creative technology. And rather than be upset, Schultz celebrated the victory because of what it meant for advancing the sport and the wellbeing of amputees everywhere.

This story is inspiring to me because it shows what life can be like when our vision is bigger than ourselves. Mike easily could’ve turned down requests from other competitors, knowing that it would possibly impact his own chances at success in the sport. But instead, he saw it as an opportunity. Why should he keep this groundbreaking knowledge to himself when it could help improve the lives of many others?

We all have our own “secrets” of our personal trade, so to speak. We all have those little things that make our personal success and story unique, and sometimes we like to keep those details to ourselves. It’s human nature to want to hoard knowledge that we know gives us an advantage over others in terms of our performance and advancement. But what if helping others was more important to us? What if we shared our knowledge and our stories more freely because of what it could do to lift up someone else? What if we were willing to run the risk that they might then take things further than we ever could, but doing good and making a difference mattered more?

Proverbs 3:27-28 (above) clearly commands us not to “withhold good from those whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Mike Schultz certainly took this idea and ran with it to the utmost, changing both his own life as well as that of many others. I would hope that any one of us, when faced with the chance and the skills to make an impact, wouldn’t put that off just because it might jeopardize our personal goals. May our vision be bigger than ourselves, always.

— Katherine Singer

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