Upper Room Readers,
I wrote about my experience as the coach of a Special Olympic swim team. Since I wrote today's devotion, our swim team has grown to 65 swimmers, one of the largest in the state. I am blessed to have a dozen assistant coaches, many of whom have been with me for over a decade. We swim for three hours each Saturday, in three different groups. During the summer, ten of our swimmers competed in state-wide competition. On our team, we stress achieving “personal bests,” with lots of positive reinforcement while still having demanding practices (many swim about a mile total in our practices). At the end of each competition season, we celebrate with a swim meet for just our team. Then we have a pizza party, and give awards to the most improved and hardest-working swimmers for that season. We are a family.
Like the blind swimmer I wrote about in my devotion, many of our other swimmers also have physical disabilities. A few arrive to practice with walkers or wheelchairs. Some cannot speak. Yet they all do their best and support their teammates in every competition. I honestly believe that I receive more from these swimmers than I give to them, and I am honored by their joy, trust, and diligence.
In addition to being a swim coach, I am an environmental lawyer. During President Obama’s administration I was the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General leading the United States Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. In that capacity, I led negotiations with BP and Volkswagen for their respective environmental violations. Following that position, I was the president of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and am presently a principal in an environmental law firm. My wife and I are members of a United Methodist church in our town. My wife has been an acclaimed teacher, a hospital chaplain, and a music director in past churches. We have two wonderful daughters and four grandchildren, all of whom live in Virginia.
— John Cruden
Join us on March 1 in observing the World Day of Prayer. Wherever your desire for prayer begins, we invite you to join with persons around the world for an intentional Day of Prayer on Friday, March 1, 2019.