Friday, February 19, 2010

Factual Friday: Olympic Glory

Fact: The Winter Olympics were first officially held in 1924 in France.

Not even a hundred years old! Compared to the Summer Olympics which trace their roots back to Ancient Greece, the Winter Olympics are fairly young. Now, to give them credit, their roots trace back to the Nordic Games, first held in 1901 in Sweden so the lineage is a little older than the official establishment of the Winter Olympics.

Watching some of these athletes is simply amazing. There are several times I have sat mesmerized, potentially with my jaw on the ground, watching what they make look so easy. Sometimes though my amazement is held by the intensely frightening crashes and falls. One of the female Swedish downhill skiers had a particularly bad fall Wednesday night, hitting her head on the ground behind her feet, running over a “gate”, and sliding for a long time. I was astonished that she walked away from it, almost under her own power, with no serious injuries.

But this is what they train for. They know their sport, their equipment, and their limitations. They know how to take a hit and get back up. In light of the death at the beginning of the Olympics, I think each accident/fall/wipeout has been more nerve-wracking than usual. But, again, this is what they train for.

So it should be with us. Several times, Paul described our lives and Christian walk as races.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“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. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

Hebrews 12:1-3
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Whether you know it or not, you are in training. But what is the goal of that training? Are you just simply hoping to get across the finish line, not caring what shape you’re in when you get there? Or are you striving with your heart and soul and every fiber to do your best, to push through, to run the race in order to gain the prize? Welcome to the Olympics, my friend! :)

Soli Deo Gloria,

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