When the London Olympics drew close, I was thinking more of the inconvenience imposed on those of us living or working in London.
Being a metropolitan city, it is expected that the vehicular traffic can be quite chaotic especially during peak hours.
Add that to some roads being designated Olympic routes and all you can expect is a nightmare. This was why the organisers appealed to those staying outside London not to drive into London except it is absolutely necessary and in such cases, to expect delays.
When the Olympics itself started, apart from the opening ceremonies, I did not really follow the events except what I heard in the news or happen upon on TV.
In the last couple of days however, there has been an excitement in the country as gold medals started coming in after the first few days of gold draught. Team GB as they are called, got British Olympic fans into a frenzy as gold medals started pouring in from horse racing to cycling and to the enigmatic Jessica Ennis who rounded up what was referred to as ‘Super Saturday’
I got drawn into the excitement and before long I began following team GB’s successes. It is obvious that these athletes have been preparing for this moment. The pair of Kat Copeland and Sophie Hosking were euphoric as they clinched the gold in the lightweight rowing event. As is characteristic of journalists, they were asked, ‘How do you feel?’ After saying the usual things, one thing which struck home was when they said, ‘This makes up for all the weddings, funerals, birthdays and other events we missed while training for the Olympics’.
As important as winning an Olympic gold is for an individual and the nations they represent, the excitement and euphoria only lasts for a while. Once the Olympics is over and all the athletes have returned to their various countries, all attention focuses on the next event coming in 4 years time.
For us as Christians however, we are running an eternal race. Like the athletes, we are constantly in training, doing all we can to win. Unlike the Olympic athletes however, we are not preparing for a race, we are already in the race! Hear Paul the Apostle;
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)
Paul spoke from experience, which is why at the end he could say with conviction and assurance, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 7-8)
Are you still in the race? Are you trained, toned and in form? When Usain Bolt of Jamaica won the Olympics 100 metres dash in 10 seconds last Olympics, many thought he would not be able to repeat the feat. He proved them wrong by winning the same event in the London.
This is what Paul meant when he said we should run in such a way to get the prize. We cannot afford to relax or be distracted. The Christian race is a marathon. Unlike the Olympic athletes, we train as we run. Every stretch of the race gives us the experience we need for the next stretch.
The home support Team GB received was of such a frenzy that it Olympic stadium was said to electrifying especially on the night Jessica Ennis won the Heptathlon event. She had most of the 80,000 crowd rooting and roaring her on to victory.
For the Christian, the Bible confirms that we have a multitude of hosts roaring and rooting for us. Now think about these multitudes as the hosts of angels numbering into their billions and of course the saints who have gone before us which are beyond count. Imagine how charged they are each time we run!
The Christian race is not for a gold medal like the Olympics where the intrinsic value of the gold medal is less than £500. On the alternative, at the end of our race, we expect to receive a crown made from gold which never fades.
For me, just hearing the words, ‘Welcome good and faithful servant’ would be worth more than all the medals of the Olympics put together.
What about you?
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the owner of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in London where he works as an IT professional. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org