Clear your schedules, set your DRVs-it’s WINTER OLYMPICS!!!
From February 9th to the 25th, pretty much the entire month of February, the world will be holding its collective breath to see who takes home the 102 medals to be gotten. This will be the second time, first in 1988, South Korea will be the hosting country. Yes, this is a special time for not only South Korea but also for the athletes-some of whom weren’t even born when the Olympics were first held in South Korea. Meet the youngest of the American athletes, 17 year old snowboarder Chloe Kim who is predicted to win gold for Team USA.
This is a great time for athletes, nations, and the world. Some would say, “a defining moment”. What a heavy statement. Just reading it gives an impression of the pressure weighing on these athlete’s shoulders.
During February, we will all see the rise and fall of many athletes’ careers, goals, and dreams. It’s an amazing moment and journey to watch. (Personally, I always feel the pressure to work out more.) The real takeaway is hearing how some of the athletes handle their wins and losses. In defeat some will despair, while others remain hopeful. In victory some will boast, while others will boast of their Creator who makes all things possible. Those are the testimonies that inspire and change us all, not into Olympian skiers but into unshakable Christ followers.
Our culture tells us to find ourselves in our careers, relationships, social media, you fill in the blank as you’ve felt it. In response to all of that Ephesians 1:5 tells us where to really find ourselves. In Jesus. That’s whose we are. Psalm 139 tells us He has created us, and not cookie cutter style either, but snowflake rare, we are fearfully and wonderfully made! We were made to glorify our creator in all we do. God tells us He has a great idea for our lives, plans to prosper us and give us a hope and a future, says Jeremiah 29:11.
I’m excited to see how God will use and speak through the Christian athletes competing this season. I’ll never forget 2016 Rio Olympian swimmer Steele Johnson. In all of his interviews he gave God such credit! In his own words,
“I’m here to love and serve Christ. My identity is rooted in Christ, not in the flips we’re doing.”
Steele is living proof that circumstances did not define him, but God, who said, “I’ve got so much more in store for you, Steele” when he was 12 and nearly died. The story takes another turn when in his Olympic debut in Rio he didn’t get gold. Not a success story in the world’s eyes, but then again who wants to live for the short and shallow attention of the world when the God of this universe gives us His unending attention, love, and listening ear, and He calls us precious and says our lives are beautiful works in progress? Steele’s story is a story that we can claim this year, the story of the freedom found in defining ourselves as God’s child.
At the end of the day, it isn’t about gold medals, financial success, or social status. It is about living a life that brings glory to our Heavenly Father, and that lays up treasures in Heaven where neither moths nor rust, nor thieves can destroy. That kind of gold makes a positive, lasting impact on earth and in the Kingdom.
With one life to live for Christ, and no ways to rewind time, how can we go for gold in 2018? As we strive to live our lives to the fullest for His glory, let’s not let the jeering crowds be weights, whether they be our own family or frenemies on social media. We are runners for Team Heaven, pressing on towards the goal to hear the words, “Well done, though good and faithful servant.”
God bless and much love and success,