Olympic versus Occasional Faith

LoLo Jones during Doha 2010 World Indoor Champ...

LoLo Jones during Doha 2010 World Indoor Championships (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  -Matthew 5:14-16

I have always been a fan of the Olympics. They are inspiring and remind me of the amazing gifts other humans have been blessed with and have worked hard to develop. I believe many of us share a feeling of hope and excitement as Americans when we unite as a country to watch and support our athletes represent us all.

However this will be the first Olympics that I will watch since working to improve my own fitness and embracing my faith in a way that I could not have imagined only 4 years ago.

While I look forward to the games in London, the Olympic Trials in Track and Field have motivated me as an athlete and given me many things to consider as a Christian. These trials have highlighted that most Track and Field athletes generally exhibit a strong faith as they openly pray and thank the Lord for their success. I was impressed as I watch the Heptathlon athletes join hands to pray, as my running group does, before their event started. I know some may be skeptical or not like this public praise. However I appreciate it based on what I have read about and observed while following runners such as Ryan Hall and Lolo Jones, both of whom not only thank He who gave them their talents, but appear to live in a way that glorifies Him as well.

I was also glad to watch and read interviews with those who did not achieve their goals or missed their dreams. These athletes did not blame God but rather acknowledged that the competition had a better race or that their training did not go as planned. I believe most of believe that we should not expect anything less from these athletes. If that is true, why do so many of us fall short of behaving this way in our daily lives?

I‘m currently studying Mere Christianity by CS Lewis with a group of men and we recently discussed how many tend to forget God and their faith. They act as though their hard work alone has allowed them to achieve success. Often it seems like those who have many positive things going on in their lives appear too busy to make time for church or prayer. Unfortunately, it is only when things take a turn for the worse that they will seek His support, His guidance, and His Love.

We have all been blessed in different aspects of our lives with various gifts or talents. Regardless of the situation each day, we must continually look to Him for direction for He is always with us in our joy, sadness, failures, and our successes.

God Bless,

Nick

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About rxnickrun

I am a Christian, Father of 4 wonderful children, Husband and Passionate Runner. I hope to help others experience that running can be a powerful approach to strengthen their Faith and improve their fitness.
This entry was posted in Doing our best, Goals, Matthew, Prayer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Olympic versus Occasional Faith

  1. I love watching the Olympics as well and was thrilled to hear Gabby Douglas of the women’s gymnastics team give God the glory upon making the team and she is only 16 years old! God should get the glory in all we do. Thanks for the reminder Nick!

  2. It is interesting how the athletes’ faith play out in their competition. Good idea to connect it to our own lives, whatever is consuming our output.

  3. Patty :) says:

    Great post. I can’t wait for the Olympics in London. I have always enjoyed watching them.
    PattyV

  4. Doug Weaver says:

    After Sara Hall, Ryan Hall’s wife, missed making the women’s steeplechase team, Ryan tweeted “The results are not what we hoped for, but God is still good”. Awesome testimony to their faith as a couple. Thanks for sharing.

  5. phil herman says:

    I totally agree, Nick. As a teenager, I was fortunate enough to work in a summer camp owned and operated by 1960 pole vault gold medal winner, Don Bragg. He was bigger than life to all of the campers and even the counselors like me; a gold medal has that sort of effect on a 15 year old! Ever since, I have been an Olympics junkie and recall fondly the performances of athletes such as Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis, Herb Brooks’ 1980 hockey team, and so many others. Living our lives in a way that glorifies God is the most fitting way to say “Thank You” for a gift we cannot repay and do not deserve.

    • rxnickrun says:

      1980 Hockey Team! Classic and one I figured you’d love. It is exciting when we can watch with our kids as new memories are being made with them as well.

  6. cchristens says:

    It is a blessing to read your heartfelt postings. They are honoring to God and inspirational to me.

    A favorite Pastor of mine loves to quote Eric Liddell, the Olympic athlete portrayed in the movie; “Chariots of Fire”. Which everyone should see before the Olympics start. Of the many faithful quotes attributed to Mr. Liddell, I find this is one of the most powerful and very appropriate;

    “You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It’s hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape – especially if you’ve got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you’re dinner’s burnt. Maybe you haven’t got a job. So who am I to say, “Believe, have faith,” in the face of life’s realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.” If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.”

    • rxnickrun says:

      Amen Chuck! Thank you for this response. So many wonderful aspects to that quote which I pray more people will embrace and acknowledge within each of ourselves. So powerful to think that if we “with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.” Wow!

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