Have you seen this ad?
Relentless. Strong. Fierce. Driven. Self- controlled.
Many words come to mind when thinking of the men and women who compete in the Olympics every 4 years. The night is a battleground for many who fight for their dreams of making it to the top. And for all that they put in, they deserve their 15 minutes in the light with hundreds of cameras and billions of eyes on them.
To fight and to risk blood and sweat for the honor and glory that comes with being number one in the world requires a dedication that some might say comes from within, but there has to be depth to a person who doesn’t quit, and doesn’t quit, and doesn’t quit, each and every time their body and mind scream “Stop!”
A piece of me is jealous of those who compete. And a piece of me wants to want anything as much as the athletes that go for the gold.
Then I pause and think. Wait. Don’t I have a reason to be like them??
I’m not the strongest, fastest, skinniest, or most athletic person out there. But don’t I have a reason to want to be the best that I can for Him? To give more, serve more, love when it hurts, and stand for what’s right? To take care of my body with fitness and nutrition? To work for my dreams, even if it means waking up early to write that next paragraph for my writing projects? To help with a film project that isn’t my own, so that I can begin stepping toward the goals He’s placed within me?
He sacrificed EVERYTHING for the sake that I might live, but I waste away half my days and nights in front of Netflix and Facebook. I sit in front of a screen that doesn’t see me. Doesn’t care for me. Doesn’t help me with anything except in becoming a cliché, inorganic daughter of the world.
Why am I not fighting tooth and nail for anything bigger than myself? Be it a gold medal in the spotlight at the Olympics or learning a new piano song in my living room, there is life to be lived and had, but sometimes I struggle to care.
It’s easier to eat food that comes from a box, rather than something I cook on my own. It’s easier to spend my money on clothes that will sit in the back of my closet, instead of giving back to the community around me. It’s easier to love this sacred screen, over volunteering at church or helping my Mom with the dishes that pile up behind me. And I’m so sick of doing what’s easy.
Do you know how counter cultural it is to act on being healthy? To act on giving more from my pocket than I keep? To act on wanting to glorify Him with my mind by picking up a book and reading, rather than passively listening the to buzz around me of new hit songs and the latest Hollywood (or political) scandal? I learned from the Bible that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and living God. Then why do I so easily give into the whims of the world around me with boxed food, Band-Aid medicine, consumer shopping, and couch potato entertainment?
I think in my conviction of my blasé attitude to the depth of passivity I see in my life, I wonder at the authenticity of others around me who claim Jesus, joy, and freedom all the while turning to the worlds doctors, psychologists, next form of entertainment, or giving into our seductive stores and “Quick Fix” “Feed Me” mentality of our consumer culture.
Back to the ad at the beginning. There is power in story and the athletes who compete in the Olympics have stories of defeat, wearing down, and tripping up. But they keep going no matter what because of the depth and passion within, that relentless pull to be the best version of themselves. So their stories are also stories of passion, driveness, working through the night, and fighting in the morning. They see the worth in continuing to grow themselves, not accepting defeat or a trip up at face value. And every 4 years, when all eyes and cameras are on the athletes at the Olympics, the world sees the fruit of the fight and stands inspired.
I am far from perfect. But as I stumble through life, I’m learning that if there is anything I can control- it is to not give up on this journey that God has me on, but instead to become the best version of me for His glory.
I want to “go for the gold” so to speak, not just on Sunday morning, but in the daily decisions of pursing dreams, pursuing relationships and friendships, making my physical and mental health a priority like my spiritual health, and living a life beyond the screens that I can’t seem to escape (which is ironic because I work in TV, but I don’t want TV to become my life).
Though I will fall hard sometimes, flat on my face imperfect as I am, I don’t intend to stay there. I owe my life to the One who bought it with His blood. He gives me an option of either being a passive, inorganic daughter of the world, or fighting to be the best as His daughter, living authentic in the world around me. When I fall, I have no excuse not to get up again, obey, and live, as He would have me. I’m letting go of passivity and choosing instead to go for the gold in all areas of my life, in order to best live in the Light.