Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Olympic Reflections

I love watching the Olympics.  Naturally, like everyone, I prefer some sports over others.  Water sports take center stage for me.  This year the Olympic athlete I enjoyed watching was Ryan Lochte as he has had to compete in the shadows of the greatest Olympian ever.  The big event to watch was the 400IM the hardest of all swimming events.  Everyone was eager to observe Lochte and Phelps in this match-up.

In the lead up there were multiple video-montages contrasting the intensity of the Lochtes training over the last four years.  He broke from the typical training routines for swimming and took more of a CrossFit approach to core training through crazy exercises like slinging tractor tires and lifting heavy chain.  Check out this two-minute video that looks at his training.

Okay, I know this video was marketing for Gatorade, but that aside, did you see the crazy intensity of his training schedule?  Most of the commentators spoke of Phelps relying on natural talent and slacking during the four years between Beijing and London.  The results:  Lochte took the gold comfortably and Phelps did not make the medal stand.  This stuff fires me up!

I love reading passages like this one during the Olympic season:

"Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules." 2 Timothy 2:3-5

Paul encourages Timothy to take his service to the Lord seriously.  Not to slack.  To suffer like a soldier (which I also get fired up about) and to compete like an athlete.  What does this look like?  At the core of this is pursuing our relationship with God.  Growing closer to Him through prayer and studying of the Scriptures.  As we diligently pursue and nurture our relationship with God, opportunities to serve and to step out by faith will come.

How's your relationship with God mirror that of a soldier, athlete, or farmer (2 Tim. 2:6)?  I would encourage you to cultivate your relationship with God with intensity!  Don't hold back, go for it!


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