Monday, August 11, 2008

Watching my team in Huamachuco

I love the Olympics! From the time I was a little boy, I loved watching and even trying to emulate the events in them.

When I was a freshman in high school, I ran cross country. The Lord gifted me with a large lung capacity and I was a prolific runner. I was privileged to set many records back then and even to win a state event.

During that time, I began to hear people talking to my parents about Olympic possibilities.

Injury would prevent any of that from ever being taken seriously.

During my college years, some friends and I went to Lake Placid, NY for Spring Break. We were there the week after the Olympics. I had sat in the student union on my campus and watched team USA beat the Russians in Hockey..."do you believe in miracles, Yes!...(Al Michaels).

What an amazing time that was as we watched relative unknowns in their field go up against professional players from the then Soviet Union.

I was there to ski, and I was able to ski the Olympic downhill course. I did not do it well, and a tremendous respect for those athletes, grew within me.

A few years later, I would meet and marry Deanna. As we got to know each other, we discovered we were both in Lake Placid, NY at the same time. We did not meet or see each other, but were amazed at how small the world suddenly seemed.

Each Olympics that have come and gone since then, bring feelings out in me that are well...competitive! I tend to be hyper competitive. I stay away from competition as much as I can, as that tends to bring out the worst in me.

I easily get caught up in any event I happen to compete in, and it takes no time for the competitive juices begin to stir, boil and overflow.

This did not serve me well when my children were young and played soccer or t-ball. I fear I was that screaming parent on the sidelines, that no child wanted to claim.

Today, I don't participate in athletics when I am around students. I have embarrassed myself on more than one occasion.

While we were in Ecuador, after our Peru missions experience concluded this summer, my team asked me multiple times to play soccer with them. I finally relented, and played. I had a great time with them. However, a couple of them came home bruised from my zealousness (I stepped on feet and things like I didn't hit anyone).

With the Olympics playing on my tv at home, those competitive feelings return in earnest! I am probably addicted to each an every event that I can see! I want to compete!

Somehow, I believe I helped the "fantastic four" win their swimming relay last night as I screamed at them in their come from behind victory over the 'all too mouthy, French."

I am way too competitive!

I am learning to take that competitive spirit and transfer it to the lost of our world. The energy that I would otherwise waste on competitions that don't help anyone, I am learning to invest in helping those who do not know Christ.

My competition is the enemy of all know who.

The victory is already won by our Lord and Savior, Jesus! However, there remain large numbers of people who have not heard about Him, and my role is help to bring Truth to them, that the Lord may snatch them from the fire in which the enemy wants to consume them.

It is not an Olympic event, and it won't bring fame and fortune, but it will bring joy to each person who come to know Him!

There is lots of room on His team. Won't you join me?



At 10:03 AM, Blogger Hopeful Pediatric Oncology Nurse said...

Thank goodness no one got hurt! Okay, I myself am only 15, but I can agree with the parent thing... be a screaming parent on the sidelines, and no child wants to claim them... I feel like that all the time around my parents... even my best friend won't claim my parents... surprising, I think. Thanks for keeping up this blog. I read it everyday. May God Bless you today in your life, your work, and all that you do. Havw a good day. <3, Leslie.

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha Ha dad, very funny. I too was whoopin' and hollerin' during the relay last nite. So much my wife came down to tell me to be quiet! As I work for a company owned by the French (I know, I know, I need to re-read your prior post on authority... often), it was particularly gratifiying to see them humbled by the swimmiing quartet!! I'm still a work in progress!! lol

Your comment about joining in the team is so appropriate. Too many of us are waiting to become Olympic quality evangelists before we simply share our own experience walking with Jesus Christ. He already has the Gold metal and 'hung' on the winners platform! All we need to do is acknowledge how His 'performance' impacts our day to day life! Those with whom we share can react in disbelief and disgust like the French relay team or embrace the victory. Either way, the victory has been secured so why not share the story? Much love,
Mark \O/


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