It was the 2000 Olympic trials. Two competitors prepared to face off in the taekwondo finals. The winner would represent the United States at the Sydney Olympic Games. The loser would find a seat in the stands. And the winner was a foregone conclusion. Because in the semifinals one of the two competitors had dislocated her kneecap.

Did I tell you that the two competitors were also best friends?

That explains why taekwondo champion Esther Kim astounded the Olympic world. She bowed out of that final match, allowing her injured best friend to follow her Olympic dream.

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. Winning isn’t the only measure of a true champion. Esther Kim inspires us all—in the high calling of our daily work.

A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

(Prov. 18:24)

Featured image by Adam Berk. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.

Originally Published: Sunday, August 18, 2002

Howard Butt, Jr.
Howard E. Butt, Jr., served as president of the H. E. Butt Foundation until 2014. He is the founder of Laity Lodge and The High Calling, and serves as vice chairman of the H. E. Butt Grocery Company.


We've been entrusted with much: material goods, friendships, financial resources, homes and businesses, gifts and talents, and our reputations. We gladly and humbly seek to be wise stewards of all that we've been given. We keep a long view that promotes civic health for future generations and acknowledges the great responsibility involved: "From the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."

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