For the last couple of weeks the men in my household have been wandering around with silly, eager grins on their faces counting down the days until the start of Summer Olympics. I, for one am glad the games have finally begun – mainly because I’m not subjected to those annoying daily countdowns anymore!
I’ll admit though, I’ve been as excited as the men in my household as I love watching the games nearly as much as they do. I plan on being very unproductive for the next two weeks as most of my time will be spent parked in front of the TV.
I find myself engrossed in sporting events that I normally wouldn’t bother watching; everything from Archery to Synchronized Diving and everything in between. There’s something fundamentally patriotic about global competition that stirs my unwavering support of these young athletes.
I love hearing The Star spangled Banner played over and over — the more the better, I say. It always brings a tear to my eye and causes a lump in my throat and makes me proud just to be a spectator. But beyond my emotion I’m moved by the commitment to succeed and the resolute determination that drives these young men and women to compete for their homelands.
Watching athletes of that caliber makes me a tad jealous, though, as I’m not hard-wired for that level of competition nor do I possess the drive necessary to push my body to such extremes. Never had it — never will. I’ve played sports over the years but my body wasn’t designed for running, jumping or rigorous physical activity. I’m more of a weekend warrior rather than a career athlete. Dang it.
Most of us know that competing as a world-class Olympian requires more than just great training and dedication. It requires inborn God-given talent. Before competitive athletes ever entered a training facility they had to have desire and a certain amount of natural born talent.
Playing a sport well can be a learned or taught with the help of coaches, trainers and mentors, but true deep-down talent is placed in us by the Creator. Clearly not everyone agrees with my logic.
Exodus 31:6 says: “Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make …” This is God speaking to Moses regarding the materials to be used in the building of the tabernacle. This verse says to me that God gave special skills — or that little something extra to people who were already naturally gifted.
Obviously those who don’t share my creationism beliefs would argue to the contrary claiming success as solely the result of individual physical superiority. This is why I love all the personal stories of athletes who are humble enough to give God a certain amount of credit when it comes to their athletic successes.
Win or lose – gold, silver or bronze — the honor of competing for your country is truly a privilege. It’s evident in these games that most of the athletes recognize that honor – whether they recognize that their gifts are God-given or not.
Go team USA!
What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God. ~Eleanor Powell
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 (NLT)