The Olympics has understandably been a hot topic of conversation as of late, but it’s caused me some realisations and in a conversation with a colleague I quickly realised there is so much to learn from our Olympians.
So why should we be more like Olympians you ask?
We live in a world where we go to school, hang out with our friends, play sport and do other extra-curricular activities. Then we go to university or start working, paying bills, and experiencing the woes of adulthood while building careers and families.
Some people dedicate themselves to their careers, their families and more but do we pour as much into our relationship and walk with God like Olympians pour into their Olympic goals and dreams?
Olympians give their all to their discipline, they often sacrifice family, friendships and more to follow their dreams to compete at the Olympics and represent their country and team. Imagine if we all committed to God and sharing his word with the world in the way that Olympians dedicate their lives to training and competing.
If we stepped out in faith every day like Olympic divers do when they flip off the edge of a 10m high diving platform and give it their all. Imagine if we stepped down off that step every day to share God’s love and word even in our discomfort and fear.
I know for myself there’s times in my life where I don’t prioritise my relationship with God in the ways I do other things like friends, family and hobbies including my volunteer work.
And as I sat in conversation with a colleague recently we spoke about how Olympians devote their all to their discipline and field and many people cannot say they have devoted themselves to something so intensely in their lives, to which she responded that she has in her preparation for going to serve a mission.
But the truth is she hasn’t, although she has worked towards and built her foundations in faith she has still lived her life working, travelling and studying, she goes home at night and doesn’t have to spend a further 6 hours training to ensure she stays competition ready like athletes do.
Many Olympians live normal lives yes with careers and families but at the end of the day they also pour hours upon hours of their time into training and ensuring they remain on their top form and able to compete. Imagine if we poured that many hours daily into our walk with God? His word, his love and his light would be so evident in every aspect of our world.
What Simone Biles and other athletes speaking out can teach us…
As I watched social media and news outlets as the news broke that Simone wouldn’t be competing due to Mental Health concerns, my heart broke at the comments of negativity around people believing that she just didn’t want to lose, or that she was wanting more attention, or that there was no need for her to withdraw for mental health issues.
Simone did something brave, in a world where her career and character has been defined by her bravery and resilience in what has been a tough road, she said “hey I’m not ok and that’s ok.” And she didn’t just go into hiding and run away from the world she stood behind her team, cheering them on and paving the road for other young Olympians to reach their goals and medal, all while she cheered for them.
We live in a world where people hide behind walls and comments especially on social media, anxiety and depression is a title people are made to feel ashamed of and as a result many suffer in silence. We as Christians are no different when it comes to being ashamed of our imperfections and fear of speaking out about our faith.
A challenge to be more like an Olympian…
After these conversations and this realisation, I’m challenging myself, and you if you’d like to join me, to be more like an Olympian. To give your all, your Olympic medal winning passion to your relationship with Christ, and to share that passion as intently as Olympians do. And to be brave and resilient and step out in faith like Simone has done in all areas of our life and journey.
I am a Young Salvationist who lives in Upper Hutt, Wellington. I am passionate about enhancing the life experiences of others and do this in my paid employment as a Support worker for those with Intellectual Disabilities and as a volunteer leader for GirlGuiding New Zealand. I love to create, write and travel the world and have a passion for submerging myself in the cultures of each place I travel. I left my heart in Africa a month before Covid sent the world into lockdown and I cannot wait to be able to return and serve in a continent that stole so much of my heart.