Have you been watching the Olympics? I have. My favorite summer sports are gymnastics and swimming with a little volleyball thrown in for variety. As I watch I wonder what it must feel like. What is the experience of launching yourself into the air, twisting and turning and flipping around and then landing on your feet - and staying there? What does that feel like?
What does it feel like to swim fast with strong, steady arms and a body that works in perfect synchronization? What does it feel like?
What does it take to be an Olympic athlete?
Talent, of course. That goes without saying. But I think it's more than that. I think there are more people in this world than we know who have the raw talent and skills to be Olympians. So where are they? Probably sitting at home watching the games on TV with the rest of us.
What makes the difference?
The willingness to choose one thing over many others.
That's not just true in the Olympics. It's true in life. Leaders are not the only people in the world who can lead. They are the ones who are WILLING to do it.
Writers are not the only ones in the world who can tell a story or express an idea. They are the ones who CHOOSE to do it.
Teachers are not the only ones who can shape minds and expand horizons. They are the ones who are INVOLVED enough to do it.
I watched as some background footage of the gymnasts was shown. Some of the girls have been training together since they were little - 5 or 6. Not playing together - training together.
Imagine the focus. I can't even remember what I wanted - at the age of 6 - to be when I grew up. I can't imagine dedicating my life to anything at the age!
The most profound thing for me is the courage displayed. Not just the courage to do the physical tasks required, although that is awe inspiring. No, I mean the courage to put everything you are into reaching a goal and facing the possibility of failing.
Personally I think just making it onto an Olympic team would be a dream come true. Not for these athletes. They want nothing less than gold. And why not? When you've worked and sacrificed your whole life for something what is the point of shooting for anything less?
I'm not called to be an athlete - Olympic or otherwise, but I do have a calling to write. Am I working and practicing like an Olympian in training? Am I giving it my all because I want to be the best? Do I work through pain and exhaustion and disappointment? Is it my focus?
What about you? What is your Jeremiah plan? What has God called you to do? Are you doing it with the focus and determination of an Olympic medalist?
More about this on Wednesday...
In His Grip,