The Olympic games fascinate the human mind. Every two years we see the culmination of years of training, the thrill and glory of victory, and of course the agony of defeat. Let me throw out a couple things that should help us think as we are processing these Olympic games.
These athletes are dedicated. It's one thing to cringe when the figure skater tumbles to the ice. It's another to realize the hours and hours of sacrifice and training to get the human body to a place where it can compete at that level.
Strict diet, routine, and sacrifice are the building blocks of athletic training at any level. They are intensified incredibly when competition at that level comes into play.
Question: As we consider our commitment to Christ, does "passionate dedication" describe our example?
Sometimes things just don't work out. You take a spill in the snowboard race. You miss a landing on the ice. The other team is simply better than you on any given day.
These are the downfalls when we pursue earthly success. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. The Bible simply does not guarantee everyone success all the time in earthly pursuits.
Question: In the midst of breakdown or failure to achieve our results, do we believe God is consistent? Or do we believe that He has let us down?
Yesterday I caught the end of the women's hockey gold medal game. I didn't know the U.S. had been up 2-0 late in the game. I don't mean by any stretch to suggest Canada didn't deserve to win or that the U.S. choked. It's possible Canada was simply the better team.
What am I really getting at? We can't just assume that because we've grown a certain amount in life and in Christ, we're just fine. The news anchor I listened to this morning expressed regret for thinking the U.S. had the game in the bag. The bottom line? The game wasn't over.
Question: Are we preparing to pursue all of God for all of life, or is there a time when we think we're allowed to "check out" just because our bodies begin to decline or don't allow us to do as much as we used to?
I hope these three quick points will challenge you as you pursue Christ each day. Don't ever give up!
I Timothy 4:8 seems an appropriate way to close: "For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come."