Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
As someone who could fit every shred of personal athletic ability onto the end of a Q-tip, I find the Olympics astounding. Seriously, have you watched what those people can do? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t win a single event at a Kindergarten track meet so watching the speed, agility, flexibility and sheer determined will of the competitors fascinates me. Then I started to wonder…
I started to wonder what happens when they are no longer able to compete? There are more than 10,000 athletes participating in the summer games; how many do you know? These people have dedicated nearly their entire life to this one event. For many they have no time left for anything but preparing for the Olympics so what happens when it’s over? We won’t know their names, fewer than 350 Gold medals will be handed out in Tokyo, so if your whole life has been about this one thing, that’s a lot of work for a pretty slim pay off so I wonder why they work so hard for such a slim chance at gold?
I wonder how they feel when it’s over? Was it worth it, are they content with their outcome and is the memory of the experience enough to sustain them after the competition is all over? I wonder if they ever walk away wishing they had invested all that time and energy into something with a greater pay-out? Very few will ever make it to a commercial or a Wheaties box and given the investment and level of their gift it sure seems like they should!
As I think about the focus and determination required to be an Olympian I am in awe. Sometimes I don’t even have the determination to wash and dry the dishes all at once; I have to divide the task. Then it hit me…there is one event that most certainly deserves the same determination and focus for all of us and the payout is WAY better and reward more precious than a million truck loads of gold medals.
Heaven…heaven is it! I realized that the energy and time Olympians pour into their event should pale in comparison to the amount we invest in growing our holiness. Thank goodness the preparation for heaven doesn’t involve physical running, diving, throwing or jumping. However, it require running from temptation, diving into the Word and prayer, throwing away earthly attachments and jumping for joy that getting the greatest reward imaginable isn’t a competition. There isn’t a limited number of “heaven medals” we’re competing for. The Father desires for each and every one to enjoy the rewards of eternal life with him in heaven. I don’t have to be better than person X, Y or Z, I just have to be the me the Father intended me to be. The secret to our race to achieve holiness is God’s Abundant Grace given in unending supply simply by asking. Not only is he waiting for us to claim our true prize, he will give us everything we need to achieve it. I guess what I really need to ask myself is; would I rather be a saint in heaven or famous on earth?
A Seed To Plant: What are three things you can add to your “Spiritual Workout” to prepare for the ultimate prize?
Blessings on your day!
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Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com