Monday, February 17, 2014

The Olympics: Dedication

The Olympics have never been something that have gotten me really excited.

      I think they’re great-- don’t get me wrong-- it’s just that I know some people who get so pumped to watch the Olympics, and I don’t quite relate. That being said, I’ve watched a ton of events with Suzy this year-- probably more than I ever have before-- and it has been quite enjoyable.

      While listening to some of the stories of the Olympians, it struck me how much dedication and practice they devote to becoming the best at what they do. These athletes spend 4 years training. Some spend 8... 12... 16 years, if they decide to keep coming back; like Bode Miller who just won a metal in his fifth Olympics (his first being in 1998). But let’s stick with the idea of 4 years. Think about that decision: I will dedicate the next 4 years to train my body and discipline myself to become the absolute best at what I do. And if I succeed, I will get a small, round piece of metal and stand on top of a box for a few minutes on tv. Okay... I’ll admit that there is some world fame that goes with it and other perks, too.

      Something about that dedication strikes me. Every decision that you make for 4 years influenced by that one goal... wow. I guess the sad thing for me is that the whole pursuit is so ‘self’ focused. In the end the goal is self-promotion and fame in the eyes of man. It certainly is an accomplishment... but what if the goal wasn’t self-focused?

      What if all of that focus and energy and dedication was put towards expanding the Kingdom of God and bringing fame and glory to His name? I guess the parallel is easy for me to see, being that I’m in ministry. But this question is healthy to ask for those of us in ministry and for those who are not: Is every decision that I make influenced by the goal of bringing glory to His name?

      Whether you’re in formal ministry, serving/volunteering in a church, or someone who wants to dedicate the next 4... 8... 12... 16... or 60 years to expanding the Kingdom; can we live with that same dedication as Olympic Athletes? With their passion? Drive? Our goal is so much more worthy; our results more eternal; our impact more lasting; and our motivation more inspiring. Our motivation is not simply the same old ‘overcoming the odds of a small town in middle-of-nowhere america’ ... our motivation is that our Creator carried a cross to the top of a hill and gave His all for us: and we’re sinners! Shouldn’t that be inspiring enough for us to be willing to give at the very least four years of our lives dedicated to Him to expand His Kingdom?

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Matthew 6:19 - 21