Olympic Fever



I’ve definitely got Olympic Fever! I’m so excited that the Olympics are finally happening! I absolutely love everything about them. I get incredibly inspired by the sheer determination and intense commitment displayed by the athletes. Talk about tenacious, the topic of my last blog!


Watching them compete and push their bodies and their minds to the absolute limit somehow inspires me to be the best version of myself as well. I think I’m going to have to add “attend the Olympics in person” to my bucket list. I can’t imagine being there in person to witness the excitement and drama.


As I think about the years and years of work that go into making an Olympian, I am truly humbled. I think about how easily I want to throw in the towel when I can’t master something quickly. I am in awe of how these athletes have seen a goal and then committed their entire lives to attaining it.


And let’s face it, their journey to that Olympic arena has been filled with incredible wins as well as heartbreaking defeat, moments of intense pain and the experience of joy beyond measure.


One thing is certain, even the ones who don’t make it to that medal platform have given it their very best.


And I can’t help but feel sorry for the ones who don’t go home with one of those beautiful, coveted medals. They must go home intensely disappointed as they fight off feeling like losers, but nothing could be further from the truth. They are the best in the world, the best in their country, and the fact that they were able to compete at the highest level in the world should be celebrated!


Yet I know there’s no way to shut off the disappointment.


As I ponder all these things, I can’t help but think about how opposite things are in our life of faith. We become strong by being weak. We win when we are willing to die to ourselves. We experience peace when we live in total and complete surrender.


All of this goes against everything that’s true in the world of Olympic athletes. And leave it to God to do that, to radically turn things upside down.


To be “Olympians” in our faith is to be humble, to put others first, to submit to God’s plan for us, to remember it’s all about Him, it’s not about us.


I can’t help but think of the beautiful Sermon on the Mount when Jesus first introduced this topsy-turvy new order. Everything is the opposite of what we think, the first shall be last, the last shall be first, the merciful will receive mercy themselves, and one of the hardest to swallow, we are to pray for those who persecute us.


I’m going to get caught up in the Olympics like I always do; and as I do, I’m also going to take a minute and thank my Heavenly Father for the upside-down grace He offers us. I’m going to let the dedication of the athletes inspire me; and as I do, I will also try to remember to thank God for the fact that I don’t have to “fight” or "train" for my place in His heart.


Jesus did all of that for me.


I’m going to cheer for the winners, I’m going to pray for the ones who don’t make the medal stand, and I’m going to watch in utter amazement at the strength, determination and dedication of the greatest athletes in the world.


And maybe if I’m lucky I will let that inspiration push me to new heights in my faith, knowing that in order to go higher I simply need to bend lower.


Oh, how I love Olympic fever!


Hugs and love,


Jill

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