It seems every time I open a newspaper or turn on the TV I hear some woeful tale of sad defeat from an athlete who failed to measure up to their own gold metal standard at the Olympics.
From the several cries that triathlon competitor Paula Findlay’s preparation was “completely mismanaged” to the various accusation that the Canadian women’s soccer team was ousted by crooked referees, the life of an Olympian seems cruel indeed.
I often wonder how many of these athletes – who give up everything and everyone for several years just to win a metal that fades manage to have the strength, courage and desire to walk two block to church each Sunday? It would seem from their lack of grace in defeat, not many. What a shame.
St Paul thus reminds us of another kind of courage. It is not the kind of courage of heroics or bravado, but the kind that’s born in heaven.
In his discourse on the Olympics St Paul states: “Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things. They do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we (practicing Christians) have a crown that is imperishable.”
For this eternal crown let us all be Olympians and run so as to win.