On your mark. Set. BANG! And the race is off!
It’s that time again. Every four years the Summer Olympics takes place. The best of the best come together to compete in a two week competition. The Summer Olympics for 2016 took place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Personal bests were achieved. Olympic records were broken. Even world records were crushed.
It’s one of my favorite athletic competitions to watch on television. I wish it was more often than once every four years. But then if that was the case, the hype and excitement wouldn’t be there. Maybe one day I’ll get to attend the Olympics as a spectator or volunteer. Or better yet, how about going as a competitor! Ha!
I’ll only be 40 years old in 2020 at the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. That isn’t that old, is it? After all, there was a 41 year old woman gymnast from Uzbekistan who was in her 7th Olympics. And there was a 42-year-old United States woman who won the gold medal in biking. So I have a chance, right? Anyone want to be my synchronized diving partner? You can never be too old to shoot an air rifle or bow and arrow. Maybe I’ll learn to ride a horse and compete in equestrian. Who has a horse that can jump?
I watched the first heats in the women’s 100 meter dash. I’m not sure if you know this, but every country is allowed to designate one athlete to compete in any individual event, no matter how good or not-so-good they are. Some of the smallest countries don’t have the athletes like the United States or China. But there are always those few athletes who want to represent their country. Because there is no competition among the other countrymen or women, anyone from that country can compete and go to the Olympic Games.
While watching the 100 meter dash, there were some competitors who finished the race in 14 and 15 seconds, which is comparable to a fast Middle School runner. They knew that they were not going to win or even make it to the next round. But they wanted to stand before the world to represent their country in one of the biggest stages of competition. They are proud to be a citizen of that country and even prouder to be an athlete in the Olympic Games. It was actually pretty cool to watch. Even though I knew they would not have a chance, the announcer still made a big deal, talking highly about them. One Iranian runner in her race even set her country’s national record, finishing in a little over fourteen seconds. I know, I know, that time does not even come close to runners in other countries. But at the end of the race, she had the biggest smile on her face, knowing the feat she just accomplished in the biggest competition in the world.
As a Christian in this world today and especially in prison, I, too, feel like one of the small countries. I feel like a piece of meat surrounded by a pack of wolves, ready to be torn apart. Like these Olympic runners representing their tiny countries, but being proud as they can be, I, too, feel that same way. I’m proud to be a Christian. I may not be the best at sharing God’s Word. I may not be the best at talking or even reciting Scripture. But I do love to take center stage being a representative of Christ in the biggest battle between good and evil I’ll ever face. And with God by my side, I’ll be on top of that podium every time. It’s a win-win situation that I don’t intend on losing!!!