In Canada, while we absolutely celebrate any medal that the Olympians bring home, our national identity lies on the hockey rink. I do enjoy hockey, and of course would love a Canadian hockey gold medal sweep, but I am even more excited to share with you the story of two of the U.S. women’s hockey players. Not only are they Christ followers, but both are from my current home state of Minnesota and are former members of the University of Minnesota’s excellent hockey program. So with the excitement of a “hometown” story, check out the video testimonies of these 2 Olympians.
Here are the challenges that I take from their stories
1- Put on Christ – Marvin talks about putting on the USA jersey and being part of the team. And that the name on the back of her shirt is not the important thing but the team she represents and identifies with. Paul wrote in Galatians 3 that those who are baptized in Christ (acknowledge Him as Lord) “put on Christ” or “clothe yourself with Christ” No matter what we have done and how imperfect and sinful we are, when we are forgiven of our sin it is like we put on His perfection. He covers our sins through his death and resurrection, and we are made perfect, not through anything that we have done other than acknowledging our own sinfulness and accepting Him as our Savior.
2-Give 100% to the one that gave 100% for you – Schleper makes the comment in her video about giving 100% for the One that gave 100% for you. What is it that we are striving for in this life? What are the goals that we have? Where are we putting our effort and our energy. Our one goal and purpose is to keep Christ as the most important part of our life. Our striving should be only to follow His will, wherever it takes us. If we have chosen to live for Christ, and we consider what He did to make a way for us to be with Him at all, then we really have no other choice than to give our all, our 100% to serve Him in all we do and to make everything in our lives acts of worship to God. What a challenge for us! My prayer for myself is that I would put my all into serving Him!
3 – Audience of One – In a related thought, the only thing, then that we would need to be concerned with is living to honor God. The Olympics come with a certain amount of scrutiny. Some Olympians (U.S. women’s hockey team for example) are expected to win a medal, and anything less than a gold would be deemed a failure by some. We can drive ourselves insane trying to live up to the expectations of others. We can kill ourselves trying to please others, and our failures can lead to their disappointment and in some cases vicious attacks. But if we understand that our soul purpose is to live for Christ and that His idea of success tends to be different than the worlds. He is all about bring us closer to Him – even if, as we hear in the Schleper video, He needs to grab our attention through hard things – like injuries. He ultimately wants to draw us closer to Him, we ultimately need to learn that anything we do gives us an opportunity to honor Him.
I am greatly challenged by these stories and these thoughts that God brought to my mind through them. May we all strive to honor God above everything else.