To the best of my knowledge, I do not have much of a competitive spirit in my entire being. I do, however, currently reside in a house where a spunky 4-year-old has become one of our most competitive children to date. Everything is a competition, from walking to the mailbox, to getting out the door to hop in the car. She has to win. It’s good to have a winning spirit, but sometimes the lesson of not being first or the winner is hardest to learn at that age.
I’ve been mentioning the Summer Olympics to my kids and my eagerness to watch them again this year. I’m not sure what it is that has made me more attuned to them over the past years, but I think it started with swimming. And probably Michael Phelps. And then it was Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in London 2012. They were exciting to watch, hope in and root for. How amazing are the thousands of athletes from around the globe who have trained countless hours and sacrificed a lot in life to come together to compete! One cannot help but watch and cheer them on.
As I run about participating in my own Mom Olympics every day, teaching my children, folding laundry, tidying up and preparing meals, I’ve learned to value those who cheer me on. Aren’t we all out in the world going for our own gold medal in one way or another? Each of us with our own pursuits, a crowd of supporters who sometimes challenge us and moments that teach us the hardest, but most worthwhile lessons.
Daily walking through my day, I know that God’s grace is in abundance, and this race is not mine to win on my own. I know that, somewhere out there, someone may be whispering a prayer for me when I need it most. I feel it and know that the gift of faith is strong and perhaps gains its greatest strength when believers in Christ band together to support one another as we forge ahead each day.
We are each athletes in many different ways. Whether it’s daily swimming upstream against the current to stand true to our values and beliefs, running a sprint of prayers offered for a seemingly difficult and unalterable prayer intention, or maybe balancing on the beam of life just trying to make it through today. Whether our daily athleticism is an individual or team event, hopefully we are standing on the sidelines watching, supporting and cheering on someone who needs it. May our own need for praise and acceptance never overlook the needs of others. May we be a supportive voice for someone today.
My ultimate goal is to finish this worldly race to see God’s face and my heavenly reward. I hope I hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I will have finished well and I will have won the prize, the heavenly gold medal.