An Olympian, Me?

When the Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver I was teaching classes at a local nursing home, and wrote this devotional for them.  It features, Caleb, the Bible person who, although advanced in years, claimed his mountain.  I have “dusted it off” a little and modernized it.

This year’s London Olympics has certainly had the shine of two very young American gold medalists.  Gymnast, Gabby Douglas is 16, and the swimmer, Katie Ledecky, is 15 years, 4 months old.  On the other hand, this apparently is the retiring year for Michael Phelps who is not yet 30. Of course, television and reporters always seem to want to make a big deal about his retirement.

Joshua was a mighty man during his 40-year trek through the wilderness.  Moses had allowed the people to choose between the conflicting reports from the spies that he sent into Israel.  When most of the people rejected a plan of faith to go ahead and enter the land promised them, God didn’t let those faithless people enter.  Finally when that generation died, Moses put Joshua in charge.  Caleb had seen the same giants in the land but did not flinch.  He stood by Joshua now.  Never mind that he is now 85 years old.  According to the promise made in Numbers 14, Joshua the military and spiritual leader tells Caleb, “Sure, go ahead.  Mt. Hebron is yours.”  The land was occupied by Canaanites and gigantic big men—Goliaths.

Caleb was successful in his quest because:  1) He followed God.  2) He was of a mighty spirit.  3) He was faithful.  Those are three elemental strengths in order to be an Olympic Christian.

Giants surround me everyday.  Giants of prayerlessness, laziness, worry, failure, faithlessness.  My age is slowing me down, but my spirit is still mighty.  Like Caleb, I challenge you to have a Giant God.

Live in the presence of your Good Shepherd.  When you do that, you can be an Olympic Christian who is gathering jewels for the crown in Heaven.  A crown you’ll give to Him.

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1 Comment

  1. Glenda

    This is a great lesson for all of us! I was thinking, earlier today, about how certain physical characteristics seem to help or hinder various athletes. For women’s gymnastics, it seems that being small (under 5’2″) is a huge asset, while for swimming, a good long line with a wide “wingspan” is needed. Now, I have not developed any great spiritual significance with my ponderings, but I’m sure that we could come up with some. For instance, being short when swinging on the uneven bars makes it possible for your feet not to touch the floor as you move to the lower bar. We should never drag our feet when an opportunity comes for us to serve our Lord! As for those long, lean lines and widely outstretched arms, we should always have those arms ready to welcome others who need a friendly greeting. I have also noticed the huge smiles on the faces of each of the medalists, and that is something we should always have ready for others. Everyone needs to see a smile, especially those who do not seem to have one of their own. Well, forgive my brain leakage here, but just letting the thoughts spill out as they come along!

    For sure, as long as God has us breathing, there is something worthwhile that He wants us to do, and we must always be looking for those opportunities that are unique to us and our abilities.

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