I love watching the Olympics. I am totally amazed with what the human body is capable of doing. When I see the ice skaters jumping and spinning, I can’t even comprehend what it takes to be able to do that. When watching, I tend to focus on how happy the winners are. After all, the Olympics are where dreams come true.
This year I really enjoyed seeing the American Women’s Ice Hockey team take gold and watching Shaun White come back as one of the oldest snowboarders to get gold again after not winning a medal in 2014. But at the same time, I watched skiers fall and lose all chances of a medal. I saw others crumble under the pressure and make mistakes like they never made at any other competition. Of the almost 3000 participants, only 307 medals were awarded. Most countries did not win any at all.
So why do they work so hard for years for an event that takes just minutes? I’ve heard them say that they really love their sport. Others stay with it because they have something to prove to themselves or to the world. They risk injury, forego education, and endure time away from family. It takes a steady focus on the goal in mind in order to keep going.
Is this not how we are supposed to live – with eternity as our focus? Should we not live today for what really matters – for what is most important? The Apostle Paul equates the Christian life to running a race. In Acts 20:24 he says, “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Then In I Corinthians 9:24-25 he says, “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.”
What is that crown that he mentions? The Bible tells us that when we stand before God we will be given crowns for the works that we have done in the Spirit. Then we will lay these crowns at Jesus’ feet knowing that we could never have won them without Him. So just like the athletes are excited to represent their country and bring home their medals, we are earning rewards to bring to our ultimate home in heaven. And just like for the Olympic athletes, It will all be worth it.
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.