I want to hear them all, Lord. Every single story behind Every Story!
That’s one of the things I enjoy most about the Olympics. Watching accomplished athletes compete in all kinds of grueling sports. Hearing the often-dramatic “backdrop” to their respective journeys to The Games and through Life.
Like the gymnast from Uzbekistan who is competing in her seventh Summer Olympics. Seven games spanning 28 years! She’s 41-years-old now! Meaning she started when she was 13-years-old!!! And she isn’t just competing… she has a shot at a medal!
She also, by the way, has a 16-year-old son who was diagnosed with leukemia. She couldn’t afford his $200,000 treatments. Someone mobilized a gymnastics event in another country, raising… $200,000! The son got his treatments. He is in remission!
Why does she keep it up? Because she loves gymnastics so much!
I couldn’t help but recall the famous Olympian showcased in the movie, “Chariots of Fire.” Eric Liddell, the Scottish sprinter, was part of Britain’s 1924 Olympic Team. He was expected to win Gold in the 100-meter race.
But he refused to run the race. It was scheduled on Sunday. Sacred to Eric, as a day of worship and rest. He was vilified in the press… even by his own countrymen.
At the 11th hour, he trained and qualified for the 400-meter race. It was not “his” event. Two competitors had both set world records. On race day, he pulled the worst lane assignment. His chances were so slim they defied reason.
But You do that all the time… don’t You, Lord? You defy reason!
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” (Ephesians 3:20)
Eric won the Gold medal that day! He ran like the wind! I love his quote, now made famous:
“God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
Eric went on to a very challenging — and fruitful — life as a missionary in China, where he died at an early age. But what about the athlete I saw compete earlier today, Lord?
Does she attribute her athletic gifts to You? When she competes, does she feel Your pleasure? Does she know it was Your Healing Touch that delivered her son from the ravages of cancer?
Will she have the chance to one day swap stories with Eric in Heaven? About their Olympic gold medal moments… and about The Real Treasure that far surpasses any earthly prize?
“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3)
I hope so, Lord!!! 🙂
Praying for every Olympian to win The Prize of prizes…