The Olympics are well underway. Newspapers and other media are filled with coverage of these various competitive events which are being held this year in Turin, Italy. The highly-trained Olympic athletes have devoted many years of their lives for one climactic moment in time. I recently viewed some of the snowboarding and ice skating events in awe as the athletes demonstrated their specialties with precision and grace.
Several days ago, ice skater Michelle Kwan was saddened and disappointed that an injury prevented her from participating in the Olympics this year. She has had a fabulous career and has won U.S. championships, world titles, and one Olympic bronze medal. She commented that it had been a dream to win an Olympic gold medal, that she had tried her hardest, and that she had no regrets. She reminded everyone that it wasn't all about the gold medal, but rather the spirit of the quest and the love of the sport itself.
We have all experienced times in our lives when we've spent much time and effort to reach a goal. Sometimes we have achieved our goals and basked in the glow of our great results. Let's be honest, it is nice to see a reward for our efforts. (Recently, I received a bronze medal. Now I'm no athlete, but I received the medal from our city library for a book that I had recently written. That doesn't happen very often - believe me, and I was pleased and honored to receive it.) Other times, however, we've seen our hopes dashed — perhaps because of our own doing or because of something completely out of our control.
Look back on your own life for a moment and think about something special that you received for your hard work. Was it a military honor? Did you get a badge in Girl Scouts? Perhaps you received straight A's on your report card? Was it a sales award? Maybe it was some other type of kudos. Take a moment and relive the joy of that achievement and give thanks to God for giving you the opportunity and the ability to be able to achieve it!
While we can always strive to be the best that we can be in many areas of life, we must remember that our quest for excellence applies to our spiritual lives, too. Let us go onward and upward in Christ, to be like Christ, and to honor Christ. There's a great reward for those who diligently seek Him and long to honor Him! (Hebrews 11:5-7; Revelation 14:13)