Like millions of others around the world, I’ve been glued to the Olympics this week.  In addition to watching athletes compete, I love to hear their personal stories about what they’ve done to become so great and/or what they’ve overcome to arrive at the pinnacle of their sport’s competitions – the Olympics.  I’m so inspired by these athletes!  They make me want to achieve more.

Now, I’m not going to take up beach volleyball or sign up for gymnastics lessons, and I’m certainly not going to make an olympic swimmer out of myself.  What I will do is try to go for the gold for God each day.

Top athletes have several things in common:

1. They’re obviously passionate about what they do.  Their passion draws others to them and makes us want to be a part of what they’re doing (even if it’s just cheering them on).

2. They’re relentless in their training and pursuit of their goals.

3. They keep their eyes fastened on the prize.  They stay focused on their goal.

4. They put all things aside that interfere with accomplishing their goals.

5.  They make the most of the gifts and talents they’ve been given.

6.  They don’t let individual circumstances, difficulties, or set-backs get in their way.  If anything, these things make them stronger and more determined.

7.  True winners don’t blame others for their failures or mistakes; they look at what’s happened, learn from it, and strive to make the necessary changes to avoid problems in the future.

8. They get right back up when they’re knocked down. 

9. They are coachable and trainable – willing to learn and be corrected – base their training on the best instruction possible – and stay true to what they believe.

10. They are never satisfied with even their best performances, always looking for ways to do better next time.

These are all principles I can use in going about each of my days to live out my faith for the Lord.  I don’t have to be competing before the world to make a difference for the Lord.  He uses everday experiences to work with me, the most mundane of times to speak to me, and the most ordinary of ways to use me.  My ‘gold medal’ moments aren’t broadcast for the world to see.  They’re often just between God and me. 

Read through the list above and think about how you can use these charactistics to be a gold medalist for God, or to affirm the things you’re already doing. 

Regarding # 1…’cheering others on’ can be done by praying for others.

Regarding #2…be relentless in your study of the Bible, daily prayer and time with God, and your purpose to live each day for Him.

Regarding #3…for me the prize is that of serving, honoring, glorifying God with my words, actions, thoughts and deeds; winning others to Jesus Christ; and ultimately leading myself and others to our place in heaven.

Regarding number 9…my instruction is the Bible and those who teach and inspire me through God’s Word. 

 Regarding number 10…the only way I differ here is that I do pause to praise and give thanks for the good in each day.  Sometimes I watch athletes – professionals and olympiads – who’ve just completed an amazing feat in their sport and they seem to find little satisfaction or pleasure in what they just accomplished because they’re too focused on the things they didn’t do as well as they could have.  It’s good to feel you can always do better next time.  God knows I end each day with plenty of things I need to do better tomorrow!  God also knows I savor the good of each day – and no matter what, there is good in each day.  Just knowing the Lord as my Savior and knowing He’s there with me is enough for any day! 

Let’s get going! We need to go for the gold for God today!  Won’t you meet me on the medals stand as they play our anthem, “How Great is Our God”? 

God bless you.