Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Perspective From a High School Noseguard

Kos Benham plays football with a passion like any other high school kid. However, Kos does it without legs! Kos plays football for Greenville's J.L. Mann High School. The 17-year old's incredible story is well-known in the Upstate region of South Carolina, but you may have not heard it. Born in Russia, a train accident claimed the life of his mother when he was 6-years old. Ironically, three years later Kos was "train jumping" with a friend in Russia and lost both of his legs in a life-threatening accident. Reporter Bob Castello with the Greenville News did a story on Kos in September. He wrote how Kos came to the United States and captured the heart of a Greenville family. Castello wrote:

"In the summer of 2004, Kos came to Greenville as part of the Hope Program, a Christian mission initiative led by local prosthetic specialist Dean Hesselgrave. Kos stayed with Kim Benham, her husband Dave and their four adopted children. Kos spent a month with the Benhams. That was enough. "We were not even seeking to adopt," Kim said. "We had four kids, and we were done. We kept him that month and absolutely fell in love with him. There were many families that would have adopted him, just because of how contagious he is and how wonderful he is to be around. But I was already mother hen. I said, 'Nope, I got him. He's in my home. I'm keeping him.' " One year from the day they met Kos, the Benhams completed his adoption in a court in Russia. While there, they visited the orphanage."

As a noseguard, Kos has inspired his teammates, opponents and even those rough and tough high school football coaches. In the newspaper interview his defensive coordinator Steve Oliver said: "He's amazing. When you see him, it's really hard to come out here as a coach or a player and feel sorry for yourself when you're having a hard day. He's an inspiration." Coach Oliver is right, Kos is an inspiration!

For someone without legs, Kos has an interesting perspective on life. His attitude is so encouraging: "I'm happy. My life is great," he said. "I'm glad to be here, and I'm grateful that my family adopted me."

Perspective is a great teacher if we'll just pay attention. Too often those of us with two legs complain about having to stand in line at a football game or airport. We're impatient waiting on food at our favorite restaurant while thousands of starving children die in Third World countries each day. Or, we complain about cold water from our shower while many would simply love to drink our shower water because it's so much cleaner than their drinking water. We watch television shows from an endless list of cable channels while soldiers and civilians in Iraq watch bodies destroyed by bullets and carbombs. Perspective is certainly amazing.

The Apostle Paul said that whatever we (Christ-followers) do, whether we eat or drink, we should do it for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Paul's admonition isn't dependent upon our circumstances or condition. Seeking God's glory is not optional for Paul, whether in prison or shipwrecked on an island. If a teenager without legs can be so grateful and happy over his life and adoption, how can we who've been adopted by God in Christ be held hostage by anything less than joy and gratitude?

1 comment:

MLenhart said...

Great story on Kos! I wonder if he would ever consider triathlons? Please see this blog: http://www.getting2tri.blogspot.com