Like most of the planet, I’m watching the Winter Olympics tonight. It is THE event around my house. Nothing else exists on my TV, right now. 😜 I sit mesmerized by the intensity of emotion on the screen, and awestruck by what I feel in my own soul. It hits on so many levels of life…and for me, at the forefront, watching the culmination of extravagant dreams coming to the pinnacle of their fulfillment brings a rare and singular gift.
When I see the purity of a heart that simply believed through all the years of their childhood and youth, and overcame every obstacle, a tear of joy falls for them as I hear their stories and watch their victory.
In this moment, I feel the nudges of our Father’s Spirit. He’s working in us all to believe in what He has planted within. He’s declaring: “You’re not an accident. I didn’t create you to fill empty space. I put a story within you that will overcome all that comes against you…if you only believe!”
Do you feel it—the drive to create and to be, no matter how small or great the task?
In answering that question, the greatest obstacle you face, then, is your fear—that you won’t measure up; that you will fall short; that you won’t be accepted. There’s this block that says, “I can’t. I’ll fail, yet again. I don’t have enough of what it takes.”
What I hear in the Olympians, I believe God would say to us. To move ahead, you must let go of what you think you should accomplish and simply be what you were designed to be! This competition is not really with others; it’s fought within yourself. You have to believe that true greatness is not measured by platforms and stages, but fulfilling for yourself what is within you.
Look at the competitor from Tonga in this year’s Olympic games. I am in awe of his story—it declares such a huge truth! His name is Pita Taufatofua. He is skiing in a cross country skiing event: the 15K Free. He has had ONLY 12 weeks of being on snow in his entire life! He knows he’s not going win against his competitors. So…he has set two goals. “Step 1: finish before they turn the lights out. Step 2: Don’t ski into a tree.” 😜 Don’t you love this guy!
On a deeper level, Pita Taufatufua describes his true motivation: “It’s not about winning medals for me,” he said, “It’s about inspiring people to push themselves out of their comfort zone, to not fear failure, to fail and then laugh at it and then try again.”
Your enemy wants you to make your race about winning or losing—that somehow you will find validation when you become the best, or when you garner other’s affirmation. But as any accomplished athlete will tell you, “When you overcome yourself, that’s when you win!”
We’re all in our own kind of Olympic competition. The Apostle Paul spoke to this when he told us: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” (1 Corinthians 9:24) You can’t avoid the fact that you are always training for your race. Your race will be seen for what it is not only by how you finish, but how you run. And in the end, there is a prize; BUT, hear me when I say this: the reward is not about winning over others, but winning over yourself.
Finish lines last only for a moment, but your race will transform you for an eternity.