Playhouse, August 15, 2012

The Olympics are over and I’m exhausted! I’ve watched athletes use muscles most adults can’t find, and I’ve witnessed endurance and stamina few athletes ever attain. Neon-glowing running shoes have grown wings on the track, and I’ve gasped for breath alongside the Olympic swimmers. In every arena the physically fit competitors awed the world with their stunning achievements.

My aging body could only dream or fantasize about performing like an Olympian, but I smiled as I realized that my spiritual individuality can train for a lifetime – and should!

The pommel horse comes in the form of obstacles that can discourage and intimate me, but when I race toward them in Christ’s strength the obstacles become a springboard for me to vault over and beyond them. My landings haven’t always been strong, but I rejoice in knowing obstacles don’t have to defeat me.

The balancing beam reminds me of the narrow way that leads to eternal life. When I mounted it as a new believer its narrow path seemed quite difficult until I realized the believer can “mount up with wings like eagles.” The dismount comes in the form of death, but its landing is in heaven. My reward is waiting!

The uneven bars are a familiar work station for me. I’ve been up and down, over and around in the struggles that life has thrown at me. I soon learned that life isn’t fair, and those ups and downs can master me or I can master them in order to encourage those that are waiting their turn behind me.

I could never collect enough nerve to dive three stories into a tank of water, but as a Christian I can take an unknown leap of faith to follow the Lord’s direction. The ease in which I obey is a concern of my Father, and He isn’t attracted to big splashes either.

Pole vaulters can reach amazing heights but not without their poles. As a Christian I can scale heights with God’s help alone – . . . “by my God I can leap over a wall.”

The Olympic relay races were some of my favorites. Every participant ran with such intensity – rushing down the track to pass on his or her baton. It was a team effort.

I picture Christian friends training and working together to carry the Good News all the way to the finish line. In the relay race we all have to participate. The job is too great – too significant for any to cheer from the bleachers.

Finally there will come the rewards ceremony held in heaven, but gold won’t be one of them. Revelation describes heaven as a city of gold with golden streets. No, gold medals would be insignificant trinkets there. Anyway, our focus won’t be on the rewards, but on Jesus who made it possible for us to call heaven our home.