The 2012 Summer Olympics are winding down. Just a few more hours until the closing ceremony airs, bringing two weeks of amazing races, dives, matches, games, and all manner of physical prowess to an end. Admittedly, I didn't watch as much as hubby and #1 son, but the parts I did watch I enjoyed. I think my all-time favorite event is the team synchronized swimming. I am utterly fascinated with them!
There are several Bible verses about running a race:
"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. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
"...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1(a)
And finally, my hope:
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7.
I have never been athletic. I'm more of a walk-my-race kind of gal. I do enjoy being out-of-doors, taking in fresh, clean air and God's beautiful world around me. But I'd rather do it from a lounge chair with a book in my hand than sweating and panting and beating myself up for a medal. But that's just me. I applaud those who work hard for their passions, whatever that may be.
So the Olympics got me thinking about some things. During the opening ceremony as we watched hundreds and hundreds of athletes from around the world march into the stadium, my son said, "Wow, the majority of them won't even win a medal." I agreed but went on to say, in my 'oh-this-is-a-great-teaching-moment' Mom voice: "No, most of them won't win a medal, and they know it. But that didn't stop them from working hard and competing. They made it to the Olympics! That's an accomplishment in itself. Everyone has a different race to run."
And that really is true.
About each of us, not just athletes.
I think we can all apply that truth to the hopes and dreams we carry in our hearts. The Olympic committee didn't hand out gold medals to just anyone who showed up. No, those athletes had to work hard! They trained for years. They sacrificed time and money. In their respective countries, they competed and won, climbing ever higher on that ladder to "success." Success, of course, has many definitions. Almost as many definitions as there are competitors.
Like the verse in Hebrews says, we each have a race marked out for us. My race looks entirely different from your race. And your race is completely different from mine. Our paths may cross, and some of us might even be in competition on some levels, but our races won't end in the same place, at the same finish line. Some people may win a gold medal while others won't. But that doesn't mean we should throw our hands in the air and give up. If all the athletes who dream of the Olympics quit because they probably won't win a medal, there would only be a handful of competitors marching in on opening night.
Run YOUR race with everything you've got! Don't give up! Keep dreaming. Keep learning. Keep training. Keep sacrificing. Most things that matter don't come easily. If they did, everyone would win a gold medal.
So here I go! I'm off and running!!!
Well, maybe not literally. =D
This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, Russia, Malaysia, South Africa