Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012 - Dedication

After watching the Olympics I continue to marvel at the dedication and perseverance of these athletes - to think about all they go through during their years of training and all of the sacrifices they have made.  I think about some of the foreign athletes that spend their entire lives in training, often being selected for a sport by kindergarten or even as early as birth. I think of the American athletes that start their heavy training by their teen years – often times requiring them to move to be near their trainers.

One popular example of that this Olympics is Gabby Douglas. It was well-chronicled how she left her home/family in Virginia in order to train in Iowa. To many that is way too extreme. Yet the fact is that excellence requires sacrifice.  Gabby openly talked about the hard times and sacrifices; yet she had a goal that required that level of dedication (or dare I use the “C-word” – commitment.)

She made this remark about those times: “Hard days are the best because that’s when champions are made.” (Gabby Douglas)

Then yesterday as I sat listening to our pastor he talked about the faithfulness of God – that we can trust in His promises. As a result our response has to be that “I am committed to God even when I may not feel like it.” In other words during the “hard days” mentioned in the previous quote…

Hebrews 10: 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Basically I am challenging us this week to pursue God and His plan with all our hearts, souls, and minds. We can totally trust Him. We need to not shy away from the idea of commitment. Or as my dear friend Carl Batteiger posted on Facebook recently: we need to be “Olympic Christian.”

As Carl took note of the training level of the Olympic athletes he concluded the following (and I will conclude this devotion with his words):

“The thought then came, WHY can't and shouldn't I have this level of commitment and passion for my Lord and Savior. Why shouldnt I be an Olympic Christian, a committed radical follower of Jesus Christ. How different would our community and the world look if all of the followers in the body of Christ had that level of commitment towards our Lord and Savior. I know it starts with me though, right here, right now to love God enough to give Him everything, no pointing fingers, just me...

Just a thought.” (Carl Batteiger)

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