It has been exciting to watch, hear, and read about the Olympics these past two weeks. As a spectator, I’ve noticed several things…
No one goes into the game aiming for the silver or bronze medals.
Olympians must sometimes choose to forego a “good thing”, like the Opening Ceremony, so they can be prepared for the “best thing”, their event which is scheduled for the following day.
Athletes are willing to train for four years or longer for a 10 second race.
1/100th of a second can be the difference between winning the gold, silver, or bronze medal.
Even if the first 3 positions have been determined, the others still finish the course/race/game. In one race, a runner fell over the first hurdle and injured his leg. He then hopped to the outside lane and hopped until he crossed the finish line.
No one gets to the Olympics by themselves. They each have families, coaches, sponsors, and teams that are part of their story.
Any person or team can win on any given day.
Even though the athletes have prepared for their event, they must still focus on the goal, concentrate, follow the rules, remember the basics, and give 100% to win their event.
As happy and thrilled as the spectators are when an individual or team succeeds, it doesn’t come anywhere close to what the Olympians must experience.
Encouraging words are often heard by teammates, coaches, and the crowd.
Athletes have a passion for their sport. They are willing to exert hours of grueling training as well as make sacrifices as they prepare to be the best in their sport.
Sometimes you are better as a team than you would be individually.
During the Olympics, I enjoyed hearing several of the athletes being interviewed. One of the members of a running relay team broke his leg during the race. When asked how he could even complete his leg of the race he said he continued to concentrate on “faith, focus, finish”. Sounds like a great lesson for the race we are running in the Christian life, too,…faith in God, focusing on Jesus, and finishing the race set before us.
I Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
And now the athletes go home to train and prepare for the next competition and we have the opportunity to continue training for and running the race God has marked out for us so that one day, like Paul, we too can say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7