Every four years, a neglected love awakens in me.
Every four years I realise afresh a diminished affection.
Every four years, I remember that I love the Olympics.
I’m not sure if you are paying attention or not, but I certainly am. To all sports—even the most obscure. I never (repeat, NEVER) pay attention to sports like kayaking or rhythmic gymnastics. But every four years, I will watch every event possible, tear up at every backstory, and kindle a love and respect for mostly unknown athletes who devote their lives to representing their countries.
I find it amusing that the apostle Paul references the Olympics in the New Testament. (well, the predecessor of the Olympics, the Greek Games).
“Everyone who competes in the games exercise self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” 1 Corinthians 9.25
Paul uses the “Olympics” to inspire us in our Christian faith. As awesome as it is to receive a wreath (our modern day gold medal), how much greater is the promise that we will be rewarded for our Christian lives on earth.
As I hear the training regimens of these athletes and think about the dedication they have shown for so many years, I take Paul’s words to heart and apply it to my walk with God. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.
So where might a little more self-control help you in your faith?
Could your faith benefit from a little more consistency?
Would your prayer life be better if you dedicated a daily measure of time
Have you memorized any scripture lately so you can carry God’s word with you?
Is there a Christian book that you’ve been meaning to read, but haven’t made the time?
There’s a phenomenal television ad by Under Armour that highlights the training of Michael Phelps, the 23-time gold medal winner (so far) in men’s swimming. It shows him up before the sun, swimming alone in a dark pool. Then the closing caption comes up:
It’s what you do in the dark
That puts you in the light
It’s pretty inspiring. It makes me want to buy and support Under Armour brand, so it’s effective advertising. But an even better takeaway might be to apply it to our walk with God.
Good things are worth dedication and effort. If these athletes can give such attention and discipline for the Olympic glory, then certainly I can raise my game in my devotion to the glory of God. Seems reasonable, huh?
Maybe I’ll memorise a bible verse tonight while I watch the Men’s Archery finals.