I am not an athelete. I can definitely relate to this. Somehow in His divine will, and perhaps sense of humor, God has chosen to make me the wife of a sports fanatic who is discipling my three sons, and yes, my daughter as well, in his love for all things athletic. One of my earnest prayer requests is that I will learn to watch sports, understand them, and even enjoy them someday.
As much as I don’t understand the fascination with sports, I do find the olympics fascinating. (Maybe because it comes in the do-able doses of every 2/4 years). Anyway, I am learning a few things through the olympics this year, and I thought I’d share my pearls of wisdom.
1. Be discerning in which events you allow your children to watch if they tend to do things like this. I had a brief moment of panic as my sons watched the skiers who seem to fly off of the ramp. Visions of how they were going to re-create this flashed through my mind, and I found myself saying things like, “but we don’t do this off of the steps, right?” “We need to remember that these men have spent years training…in the snow… on a mountain…etc.”
2. My husband is an amazing sports efficianato. Now, I am used to hearing my husband say things while watching football, that the commentators repeat verbatim. I was impressed with the fact that he noticed so much detail, and could beat them to the punch, so to speak. Imagine how surprised I was, though, to hear him looking at speed skating, downhill skiing, bobsledding, and hear him say things like, “oh man, he really slowed down on that last turn.” I’m thinking to myself, “he looked like he was going pretty fast to me…” Then the commentator says, “he really slowed down on that last turn.” Over and over Jason is making comments about triple lutz’s and some thing called skeleton (?), and he is right every time. I don’t understand, but I have a whole new respect for his uncanny knack at observing sports with such discernment.
3. Olympians are hard core, and I am a ninny. Some lady from some place won a gold on some type of skiing event while she was experiencing flu symptoms…including a fever and body aches. Other people ski with broken ribs. And every single athelete is there because he or she worked grueling hours in preparation and training. I was truly convicted when I considered how “soft” I am about pushing my body, or my brain to do anything difficult. This morning, after I had already started composing this post in my mind I found in my daily reading the following verse:
1 Cor. 9:25-27
25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control,  lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
How kind of God to show me this verse when I have a visual image of the olympic atheletes in my mind. As I shared before, I often try to escape my life when it gets hard. Motherhood isn’t a sprint, it is a long distance endurance race. I am weak and my stamina has been pitiful lately. But I have faith that God is going to help me to exercise self control, keep the imperishable prize ahead of me in view, and give me direction so that I’m not beating at the air.
And to all of the other ladies out there running your endurance race, I’m cheering you on! Can you hear the great cloud of witnesses today as you tackle your own mountain…of laundry? Can you hear the applause as you gracefully execute your turn of the grocery cart with two or more kids in tow? Can you picture the gold of children whom you correct today for the twentieth time eventually running beside you, or even ahead of you, in the race? Go for the gold!!!