Jul 30, 2012

An Olympic Challenge... Happy Monday

Happy Olympic Monday!
 Last week was a blur of activity... a visit from the madre. We shopped, dined, played cards and entertained ourselves in the 110 degree heat... almost an Olympic event.
We planned a swimming pool, spa, shade trees, a western mountain view, an eastern shore front. (Shore is east coast for beach)
Okay, the last sentence is untrue except for the shore reference....

Friday night we began two weeks of Olympic moments...
One of the great stories of these London Olympics is 30 yr old, U.S. athlete, Brendan Hansen, referred to as the comeback kid. 
He won a Bronze Medal in the 100 meter breast stroke yesterday.
It's not always the Gold that make the best stories.
This would be his last Olympics, coming out of retirement after the 2008 Olympics. He had never won an individual medal and that haunted him.
His wife suggested he try again. He says he overachieved when he married her. I love that comment by a man about his woman.

With one shot left he dove into the deep waters.
 I cheered for him in this quick race, recognizing what less than 60 seconds meant in this moment.
He beat his long time Japanese rival and took third, winning a bronze medal. 
The fans went crazy... he went crazy. 
Relief, thankfulness, joy... what was he feeling?

I've seen Bronze medalists, and sometimes it's a disappointing view. 
Not this time.. as Hansen was interviewed he was overcome with joy.
He told the interviewer that this would be the
 "shiniest bronze medal you ever saw." 
His enthusiasm was apparent as he ended his swimming career as an Olympic Medalist. 

I was still thinking about Hansen's comment as I woke this morning, pondering my options....
What was my goal today? Would I be up for the challenge, be positive or negative? The choice was mine.
Having the sense to call on God in that moment... I asked for gold. 
I sought out the Holy Spirit, an indwelling and then I prayed. 
I felt Him take over, smooth the rough edges, change the negative to positive and recognize the opportunity.

Yesterday, I had quit at one moment. Tired of the the oppressive heat, lack of community, distance to family... I called a time out. Actually, I stated to my husband, "I quit, I am done." He looked at me, and said with a smile, "No, you can't do that."
He knows me. He knows I am tough.... but sometimes.

The real oppression is probably not the heat, but the evil one. He knows our weaknesses and he goes there. He pushes and prods until he finds a weak spot and he digs in. We cry uncle and he gets the win.
But, that's not the plan, at least not God's plan.
The plan is to call on The Holy Spirit each morning.
Then He seals the weak spots, filling in the hollow places with life, truth...  the ability to see a sliver from God's view, that is all we can handle. That is Spirit living.

Recognizing that some days will be gold, others bronze, they are all good, worthy and deserve the joy He has given us. 
As Christians there is much to learn from these fine Olympic Athletes. 
Perseverance and keeping our eye on the prize... biblical values we all benefit from.

 2 Timothy 4:7 says,
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Let's challenge ourselves in Olympic proportion today.
Does "Go for the gold" sound cliche? 
Isn't God calling us to that?
How will you be the shiniest gold, silver or bronze medal today?

Matthew 5:14-16 
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (NIV)

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