My husband and I have spent the last two weeks, along with millions of others, glued to our TV, watching the Winter Olympics. We were riveted in witnessing athletes who have endured years of grueling practice to refine their skills, overcoming amazing challenges, sometimes defeating all odds, to bring home the coveted prize of an Olympic Gold Medal. Those who have won the honor to wear one around their neck are of an elite few. The best of the best, world-wide!
I am in awe of these athlete’s skill and mastery of a sport, often times willing to risk life and limb to be recognized as the champion of their particular class. Did you see those snow boarders do triple flips 20 feet up in the air? Downhill skiers racing down ice encrusted mountains at 80 mph on two little sticks attached to their feet? Figure skaters doing triple lutzes, toe loops and lifts all while gliding around on thin metal blades making it look like a walk in the park? They practice for hours every day, for YEARS, for a one-time shot at grasping the gold. They have incredible dedication, focus, and tenacity to push through injury, set-backs, failure, and discouragement. You have to admire every athlete that even makes it to the Olympic Games just for that. Never mind winning a medal. They’re all winners. Especially when you see someone lose out on a gold medal by 1/100th of a second! (How can they even measure that?)
Ah, that we all should have this Olympic dedication and drive when it comes to our life work and faith journey with the Lord! Colossians 3:23 reminds us, “Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah)” (Amplified Bible).
When I see this Olympic dedication, I think, “All the more I should be dedicated to my life purpose and walk with the Lord. Not for the glory of men, but for GOD! To fight the good fight and finish the race for a reward that far outweighs a gold medal.” A crown of righteousness, as Paul talks about in 2 Timothy 4:7; and a relationship with the living God! It’s easy to get discouraged and defeated in this life marathon with all the things that battle against us at times. But we are not striving alone and the prize is one of an abundant life in Christ and the eternal reward of heaven!
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control,[a] lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Eric Liddell, a 1924 summer Olympics gold medalist, says it best, “So who am I to say, “Believe, have faith,” in the face of life’s realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, ‘Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:20). If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.’ (Luke 11). If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.”
Eric also said, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”
Go for the Gold!! Run your race well, with excellence as unto the Lord. With unfailing determination, purpose, and hope for an eternal prize. And with great pleasure and joy in the purpose He made you for. You are God’s Olympian!
To GOD be the glory!
For a glimpse into the race and purpose God has laid before me in my life and how He has helped me, and can help you become a champion, read my book, True Identity – Do You Know Who and Whose You Are?