On Friday, August 5 a sport spectacle like no other will commence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: the Games of the XXXI Olympiad or the 2016 Summer Olympics. The games will close on August 21.
There will be 11,239 athletes from 206 countries, competing in 28 Olympic sports (thanks Wikipedia)...all in the span of just 19 days (there are actually some events that started today, August 3, but the Opening Ceremony isn’t until August 5).
In days long gone, this was the pinnacle of a young, amateur athlete’s career that could propel them to fame with fortune sure to follow (now the Olympics are pretty well dominated by professionals in the various applicable events).
I don’t mean to be critical of the athletes...they still practice long hours and strive to be the very best in the world at their sport. And that is exactly my point!
They dedicate their entire lives to a sport in hopes of winning a gold medal (or a championship of some sort). Untold hours are spent in training, practicing, the weight room, doing conditioning...and all for a few moments of glory.
Lest you don’t believe me, when the Olympics were held in Beijing, China (in 2008) who won the gold medal in the Individual Men’s Triathlon? Jan Frodeno from Germany did. How did I know, I looked it up on the Internet!
Mr. Frodeno trained so hard so that he could finish his swim, bike ride, and run 5.19 seconds faster than his nearest competitor...and a mere 8 years later, not too many people remember his accomplishment!
He worked so very hard for so very long and it was totally worth it for him: he achieved his goal and was the best in the world at his sport.
In 1 Corinthians 9:25, Paul says, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
In 8 years, will we remember much about Rio 2016? Probably not. But the athletes who are competing will...because they worked hard and were there.
What about your training that you are doing right now, spiritually speaking? Are you working to get a crown that will last forever?