I have loved taking in the Olympics. It has been a joy to see these athletes compete. I get pumped and celebrate the winners and cheer on the underdogs. I enjoy the international sparing and get a kick when a not-so-super-power country wins. Plus, there are a lot of great back stories like Im Dong-Hyun the South Korean world-record-holder for archery who is legally blind but wears nothing to correct his sight, or Nur Suryain Mohamed Taibi another Archer who is 34 weeks pregnant. Then there is Lolo Jones who grew up hidden in the basement of a Salvation Army church in Des Moines, and Queen Underwood the American fighter from Seattle who survived years of sexual abuse by her father and fought back from drug addiction to become a contender, and Leo Manzano the first American to medal in men’s 1500 since 1968 who was born in Mexico before his parents moved to Texas. There are so many more amazing backstories of these athletes overcoming difficult and unique circumstances to be the best in their country and test their skill against the rest to discover if they can be one of the top three in the world. It is some of the best drama and entertainment out there…the best un-manipulated reality show available.
Now one area caught my attention this week that challenged my faith. It was not just the efforts these athletes put towards their goal, but that we should put in that intensity as we strive to live our God’s unique call on our lives. Like the Apostle Paul…
Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
It was also not the countless hours these competitors log in as they train and practice, but that we should put forth some real efforts to practice our faith like in 2 Peter 1:5-7…
2 Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
The words “make every effort” mean to expend great energy at your own risk! We should put forth efforts to be godly, know more, have self-control, preserver, etc.
Yes, this is a great challenge, but what intrigued me this week was the interaction athletes have with their coaches. In hearing and reading some of the back stories of athletes, many of them have had multiple coaches. They change from one coach to another because that particular coach was not getting them where they wanted to be; either too soft or too difficult or the athlete just wanted a change. However, there was one defining factor that each athlete said was a must for them to be successful with a coach. It was the factor that came out as I read about Michael Phelps and his relationship with his one and only coach, Bob Bowman. When asked why he has stuck with Bob Bowman for so long (Bob has been Michael’s coach since Michael was 11 years old), Michael said, “Because I trust him”. Trust is the key factors athletes must have with their coaches to succeed.
Well you know where I’m going with this, Trust in our life-coach, Jesus, is vital if we are going to succeed as a Christian.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Let this verse soak in, maybe read this verse a few times with the image of an athlete trusting in their coach…listening, doing what the coach says, obeying, following…even if the athlete doesn’t want to…even if it’s difficult…even if it doesn’t make sense.
Ok, so do you trust in LORD that much? Are you willing to submit to His training and truly listen as He speaks into your life through His Word (the Bible)? I know I was challenged to lean in and listen all that much harder and to let the Lord know I trust Him by living out as best I can what His Word says. Jesus even said:
John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.
Let’s train well and show our devotion and love to our Lord and Coach Jesus as we trust in Him with all our heart.
Seeking to Live out that Trust in Jesus with you,