I love the Olympics. Swimming, gymnastics, diving, track and field….you name it, I watch it. It’s incredible to see such athletic feats performed over and over in front of the entire world. And I am so excited to cheer on Team USA. Their teamwork, sportsmanship and determination represent all that we stand for as a Nation, and they do us proud.
And one thing I have noticed throughout these games is that despite the tremendous differences between any two events, there are two commonalties between all athletes at these Olympics. Focus and resolve. I have watched Missy Franklin prepare for her race with sheer determination written across her face. I have seen the focus of Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber as they perform each tumble on the balance beam. Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Kelci Bryant, Abby Johnston and many others have embodied this same acute concentration and drive as they perform on the world’s stage.
For me, this is nearly as impressive as the very event in which these athletes compete. They spend their lives training–completely dedicated–in order to succeed in the Olympic Games. They sacrifice, they fail, they persevere. You can see the hard-fought battles they have each faced within their training and competitions as they step up to accomplish their ultimate goal; a Gold medal. And this passionate pursuit is incredibly inspiring to me.
Not that I have much in common with any Olympic athlete (let’s face it, I can barely walk and chew gum simultaneously), but I do aspire to emulate this passion, this drive. But I am left asking myself what my goal is? What am I passionately pursuing? Is it the next raise or promotion? A best time in a triathlon? A fancy car, wardrobe, or even house? No, none of these things are what I ultimately desire. Yes, a raise would be nice. Of course, I have a “dream house” that I think about decorating….or a time I’d love to make in a race. But it’s not my ultimate goal in life. Being the perfect wife, or raising perfect children would be awesome goals….but they are unattainable with my flawed nature.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
This is my goal. And like an athlete training for the Olympics, I need to press on. Each day. Despite failures, setbacks and discouragement. My goal is to live for Him, and His glory, and not my own. And so, I press on.