(c) Twitter/McKayla Maroney
the I n s p i r a t i o n
Watching the Olympics inspired me to the depth of my heart. As I watched the Olympians compete (hey, even if it wasn’t in real time!), it’s as if I could feel their pulsing purpose, strength, and endurance emanate all the way from London, England, straight to Orange County, California.
These are quite literally our world-class athletes, and I ponder their simply superhuman drive to excel in their athletic art. Yes, in the corners of the mind of every athlete, I can only imagine that he or she truly views his or her sport as an art: with all of its techniques, intricacies, and secrets to master. With a universe of deep beauty hidden within.
I can also only imagine how alive an Olympian must feel when he or she competes: 110% in the moment, with nothing else mattering… swimming and drowning in that beauty which they have mastered: that universe which they have been trained to navigate, as swiftly as a dolphin playing in what it perceives to be its own ocean.
The C h a l l e n g e
The world teaches us: “No matter the difficult circumstances in life, a champion will rise to the occasion and triumph.” However, I’d like to re-word that to this:
Precisely BECAUSE of the difficult circumstances in life, a champion WILL rise to the occasion and triumph!
Champions in the making don’t ever see difficult circumstances as obstacles; champions in the making see difficult circumstances as mere challenges that will be overcome. It’s trite, but it’s true!
“Oh, so the pool is now partially solidified because someone filled it with JELL-O bags?
I’ll use my forceps a bit harder, and I’ll have to keep my left foot really controlled during that last lap.
I’ll finish five minutes later than anticipated.
I got this.”
Now THAT’S what an Olympian would think.
(NOT: How unfair! Some jerk put Jell-O in the pool! I’ll somehow swim five times as hard now. And probably place in like, the top 10.)
“CHALLENGES, not Obstacles”: This winning mentality will hold as just that– a winning way to think– forever!
Just look at the world around you. So many souls have fought, nail and tooth, for success– and henceforth achieved it, whether or not that purpose was even noble.
But do you even KNOW the beauty of being a son or a daughter of GOD?!!
You are called to something higher.
You are called to something Divine!!!
Olympians not only know who they are and what they were made to do; they are confident in who they are and what they were made to do. They don’t doubt.
Olympians thrive living out their purpose. They day in and day out hone their strength. And they endure until the finish line, only stopping after they have given it their all.
No matter if a medal will adorn them at the end, Olympians know that to have persevered every moment til the end is enough.
Did you know that YOU are intended to be an athlete of God— to run your race on earth for Him and all of His glory?
Did you know that YOU have a crown of glory awaiting you, no doubt, at the end?!
I’M “CALLED”?! SAY WHAT?!
Yes, when you slap on your ridiculously neon running shoes, know that truly, that silly looking pair of sneakers was designed just for you, and only for you, by the Creator of the Universe.
Not one other soul can ever fill your shoes. You have a beautiful purpose on this earth that only you can fulfill. A course that only you can run.
And what will this purpose entail? It will encompass serving the least of your brothers and sisters. Its main purpose will be loving with Christ’s love and radiating Christ’s joy in whatever you do, whether directly or indirectly, in your tiniest and in your grandest of adventures!
And along the way, you will help Him to save souls. A lot of times, you will not know it, and you will not know who. That is, you will not know who you touch!
But God will work through you as you run. He will give you strength. He will give you endurance. And He will crown you, His beloved son or daughter, a SAINT, once you cross that victory line at the end of your life… once you are at Home with Him in Heaven!
2 Timothy 4:7-9 reads:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid upon me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
You may not know it, but Jesus thirsts for souls through you. Do you run this race on earth thirsting for souls as well?
Do you know your purpose? Do you know your Strength? Do you know Who can help you to endure?
I don’t know about you, but I do.
JESUS. JESUS. And JESUS.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as that to be a triumphant Olympian in this thing called LIFE.
You know your destiny. You’re called to run, alive in Jesus. You’re called to be crowned a saint at the finish line.
So go put on those ridiculously neon sneakers and run this race called LIFE!
THOMAS: OUR HERO
Sometimes, a soul’s race on this earth is much shorter than is that of others. My little friend Thomas, pictured above, died at the age of 9 after courageously battling aggressive cancer.
Yet Thomas still ran his course– he raced hard till the end! His life had purpose, God gave Him strength, and boy, did he endure. As the t-shirts we wore when we walked in his memory this year say… “THE LEGEND LIVES ON!”
2 Timothy 4:7-9 were the first words that came to mind when I learned of Thomas’s passing that summer of 2009. And it is no wonder.
I have no doubt that Thomas has been crowned a saint. As far as I am concerned, he will never die. God had a plan for him, and that plan is still being lived out today.
God has a plan for you.
Carpe diem. Carpe noctem.