I'm loving the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Go Team USA. Swimming, diving, gymnastics, beach volleyball...and all the other sports like handball - I mean, everyone deserves a chance at winning a medal, right? Last night I decided I would love to win an Olympic medal doing something...just not sure what that "something" is. And then I was reminded, I'm probably past my prime. However, if there's a 41 year old gymnast competing then maybe I have a chance.
Hold up...NO. I do not have a chance. And do you want to know why? Because I lack the motivation, determination and perseverance it takes to train like an Olympian. (Not to mention skill but even if I had the skill of Michael Phelps, I still would not be an Olympian.) Watching the Olympics is so much fun because it's the "Facebook version" of what it means to be an Olympian.
The (mostly) good times. In the not-so-good times, I would fail. I can't motivate myself to get up at 6a to run for 40 minutes every day or stick to a 12-week half marathon training plan. So no, I will never be an Olympian. (Excuse me, I need a moment to accept this...)
Okay, I'm over it. I will never been an Olympian. I'll never be "the best of the best" this side of heaven. However, being the "the best of the best" is relatively meaningless when you consider heaven. Those 20+ Gold medals around Michael Phelps's neck are meaningless after life on earth. His true identity, your true identity and my true identify will be revealed someday. And you either identify in Christ or you don't. That is all that matters. Steele Johnson and David Boudia did a great job highlighting this in their post medal-winning olympic dive interview. Check it out:
Let me stop and shout out a big "AMEN". I've never been prouder of two American Olympians. As I was searching for the link to this video clip, I learned they have given several interviews like this one in competitions leading up to the Olympics. And as interview video clips go, people across the world have butchered them for standing and speaking out about their faith in Christ. We praise the gay athlete for being true to his identity and celebrate Bruce "Caitlin" Jenner's ability to identify with his/her self...but we have a problem with two Christians identifying with Christ!?! The comments on the video clips are horrifying and heartbreaking. There is no quicker way to offend me and break my heart than to offend Christ or another one of my brothers or sisters in Christ. I don't use my beliefs to berate others and I certainly do not like when others do that to me. However, I know that my perseverance is in the hope I have in Christ. And I know that HIS love and sacrifice are so great that He even forgives and takes in the 'haters' posting on the video link, if they so choose to identify in Him.
Therefore we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope. And hope does not put to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, I may not be an Olympian but I've got something better than an Olympian medal. I have a Savior in Christ, who IS my identity. Don't be defined by something this side of heaven, identify with Christ for He truly is "the best of the best" eternally.
Medals, Olympians, and Christ,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.