Updated: Aug 4, 2021
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
In the ancient Olympic Games there were no gold, silver, or bronze medals. When asked "What is the prize for the winner?,” "An olive-wreath" was the answer. Yet even with such a simple prize the victorious athletes received honor and praise. Their deeds were recorded for future generations to appreciate. Athletic glorification has carried over into modern day sports as well. Olympian Jessica Beard gives a different perspective on who is to receive the glory — no matter what the outcome. To listen to Jessica click on the picture below.
So Jessica offers a great perspective on both glorifying God and remaining humble. The world often equates winning with glory and being humbled with losing, yet that is not the way the bible talks about it. We are called to give God the glory no matter what the outcome. True humility comes from having a right understanding of who we are in light of who God is. In that way, even an Olympic gold medalist can be humble and someone who suffers defeat can give God the glory. Both are a choice that we each can make. It does not matter if we are on a world stage like the Olympics or a quiet back office at the factory. Give God the glory and be humble.
Jessica's words makes me think of one of the most celebrated Olympians of all time a sprinter by the name of Derek Redmond. Redmond never won a medal, in fact he’s remembered for coming in last, but how he finished the race is still etched into the world’s memory. Midway through his semifinal event, Redmond tore his hamstring and fell to the ground in terrible pain. Rather than allow medics to carry him off the field, Redmond limped his way to the finish line supported by his father. A crowd of over 65,000 spectators gave him a standing ovation.
https://youtu.be/t2G8KVzTwfw (Check it out here)
Someone said, "How we finish the race is vastly more important than winning it." As Jesus followers, we are invited to live every day being mindful of the legacy of faithfulness we’ll leave behind. At a conference I attended a leader asked us attendees, “Will people remember us as someone who helped the needy, who showed compassion to the outsider, or will they be glad to forget us when we’re gone?” I’ll be honest that question nagged at me, made me uncomfortable. But it is a good question don’t you think? “When it’s all been said and done” how we finish the race will be of more importance than the getting the win.
Give this Song a listen as we conclude today.