Have you been watching the XXX Olympiad?
The Summer Games in London have been amazing in so many ways. New world records for speed and skill.
There are so many stories of hard work, dedication, setbacks, challenges and victories all along the way for the athletes, their families and coaches. Some of the stories are shared in the media. Some we will never hear.
I haven’t watched the Games as much this time as in years past, but it is always inspiring to see barriers broken down, on and off the playing field. And I really appreciate it when an athlete gives the glory to God.
Somehow, the world has ascribed immense glory to winning a gold medal at the Olympics. And for good reason. It is an accomplishment that should be honored.
A spiritual Olympics?
But have you ever wondered if there should somehow be some sort of spiritual Olympics? I don’t know how it would work because mankind usually judges after the outward appearance of things instead of what is in the heart.
Even the great prophet Samuel had that problem when he went to anoint a new king over Israel. He saw the eldest son of Jesse and was sure that he was “the Lord’s anointed.”
And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. I Samuel 16:6,7
Samuel thought the second son, who was like his older brother, strong of stature was the one. God said no again.
God looks upon our hearts.
So, if there were a spiritual Olympics, I guess God would be the one handing out the gold medals. What would the events be in this spiritual Olympics? Which would you be able to participate in with any hope of winning a gold medal?
Here’s a poem I wrote several Olympics ago.
What Is Your Best Olympic Event?
Well, I did it again.
It’s 1:30 in the morning.
I can’t believe the hours have passed so quickly.
There’s just something about the Olympics,
that beckons me.
The speed and strength,
the endurance and grace of the athletes,
call out to my own hidden hopes for excellence.
But I’ll never break a world record in the 100 meter dash.
Friends, surprised that I would even be interested in the Games
(an athlete I am NOT),
congratulate my enthusiasm
but do not ask the reason for it.
Men and women from around the world have met to participate in
breaking down barriers
individually and collectively.
This is what my heart sees and hears:
Hardships faced and overcome,
Victories and defeats
helping to dissolve the limitations of this material world…
Now we come to my favorite events.
I wonder who will win this year’s Gold Medals in
Just as the Olympic Gold Medal winners must dedicate hours each day for years to practicing their sports, we must practice our patience, humility, brotherly love, forgiveness, gratitude, etc. on a daily basis, week after week, month after month, year after year.
Yes, it’s hard work sometimes. There are challenges. There are victories and there are failures–when you loose your patience or when pride flares up and you fall flat on your face.
But the Bible encourages us to keep going forward: “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1
Which events in the spiritual Olympics will you win a Gold Medal in?
Go for the Gold,