Lessons from the Olympics

For about the first 25 years of my life we did not have a TV in our home, and I still think that is an excellent way to have it but we do have one now. I think that there are many things that are far better to do than watch TV so I have made it a rule that the kids and I don't turn it on (with a very few exceptions, once or twice a year). Ken watches Fox News in the morning while walking on the tread mill and then he also enjoys keeping up with his favorite sports teams. That said there are a few things on TV that I really enjoy watching... The Rose Bowl Parade on New Years Day (a tradition that started when I was a kid when we were at my Grandpa's), Political debates and the summer and winter Olympics!

There is something about the Olympics that I find very, very fun. I am not really interested in spectator sports as a rule but I think it is the knowledge that you are watching the best of the best from around the world along with the geography that you can learn about. I really enjoy seeing all the flags, seeing the people from different countries, hearing their stories and then sometimes getting to hear the different languages as well, listening to the different national anthems (though I do enjoy hearing ours best!) and just all that is a part of the Olympics.

That is part of the reason my blogging has been a bit less frequent (along with just being very busy), I have been busy watching the Olympics. Watching the different races (from swimming with Micheal Phelps and Darra Torres to Track and Field (and or course Gymnastics). Seeing those competitors truly give their all to win the race is truly inspiring. I can't say that it makes me want to start running races of that nature but it does make me want to run harder in the race that I am in, the one that it talks about in these verses:

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games excercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. There I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

There are several things that I get out of these verses:
  • I need to run with a plan to win. No half hearted attempts are going to work.
  • It is going to require self-control on my part.
  • The prize we will win will be far better than any gold metal!
  • I have a goal in mind and I run straight to the goal. (The Bible has direction for running straight towards the goal.)
  • I have to keep working on it, I can't run well for a while and think I have it made. This race will last until the end of my life.

Another verse that goes with this is:

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnessess surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1 & 2

  • There is a crowd watching us and cheering us on!
  • We need to get rid of anything that is going to slow us down. If you have watched the Olympics you have probably noticed what the racers wear. Their outfits are specifically designed for speed and for not getting in their way (a little to much in fact in my opinion). We need to use that same plan in our lives!
  • We have a great leader, Jesus before us. If we just watch Him and follow Him all the way then we will be able to run a good race.

These verses really encourage me in trying to live my life for God. I hope they encourage you too!