“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.