XXII Olympic Winter Games

It is an Olympic year. In fact, the winter Olympics will begin in 29 days. Soon I will be enjoying all of the sporting events and I am able remember Olympics of the past and how they have impacted my life.


olympicsIt was an Olympic year when my son, Philip was two. He loved watching the “lympics” and especially the men’s gymnastics. He would imitate their movements as best he could. We had to place a mattress in the middle of the floor for his safety.


I was a camp counselor during the Olympics one year. I decorated our dining hall table with the Olympic theme and updated the US medal standing daily. That was no easy task without our modern technology.


I have been a huge fan of the Olympics through the years and have loved watching the athletic feats of these disciplined athletes. During the summer Olympics two years ago, I recall some remarkable outcomes.


I remember watching the men’s Road Race Cycling. I love racing and have found that I liked the bicycle racing. I didn’t understand a lot of it, but was so impressed with the efforts of each man in this race.


Near the end of one particular race, two men jumped out front. With each pedal, they pulled away from the pack. As the finish line came into view, these two were over 10 seconds ahead of the lead pack.


Rigoberto Uran of Columbia turned to see where he was in relation to the pack of cyclists behind him. In that moment, Alexandr Vinojurov of Kazakhstan began his sprint. In those short moments, Uran lost his gold medal. He was unable to catch Vinojurov.


How often are we guilty of this very thing? I know for me, I seem to fall into the trap of looking around instead of looking ahead at times.


In my spiritual life, this is costly. Temptation can lead to sin. And sin leads to death. Sometimes I look to my past. Guilt resurfaces and I feel worthless. At other times I allow my busyness to move my energy and effort from my time with God. Again, nothing good comes from any of these actions.


We must learn to keep our eyes on the goal. Keep focused on the finish line. Hold unswervingly to the path set before us.


So what are the things that keep us from focusing on our goal? The verses below will direct us.



The Galatians had an understanding of how a distraction could cause failure in their race. Paul asked this question of them. “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7 – NIV)


You can ask yourself that same question if you are being distracted in your Christian walk. Once you’ve figured it out, you will be able to put the distraction behind you and continue faithfully in the race.



Sometimes the hindrances of this world and sin will cause misstep. The writer of Hebrews warns us of this possibility. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1 – NIV)


The good news here is that there are encouragers along our journey who are cheering us on. Gain strength from their encouragement. Be spurred on because of their inspiration. Attain your goal by leaning on their spiritual wisdom. Follow the path they have already marked. The prize at the end will be worth it all.


Looking Behind

One of my favorite passages is from Paul. He encourages the Philippian Church to forget the past. Look to the future. These are wonderful words of wisdom for us to remember each day as well.


“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14 – NIV)


Looking to our past will always get us into trouble. The evil one will see that as our weakness and fill us with guilt over and over. Let’s not allow that to happen. Let’s keep our eyes focused on Jesus, the goal and finish line.


Uran took his eyes off the finish line. He allowed his vision to be distracted by what was behind him. It cost him a gold medal.


There is so much more at stake for us in our spiritual walk when we take our eyes off the goal. Our eternal life is dependent upon it. Forget what is behind. Strain toward what is ahead. Press on toward the goal. Your prize is waiting!


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



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