Life Without the Olympics

What are we going to do now that the Olympics are over?!  Watch Bachelorette reruns?  Complain about political ads?  Wonder what celebrity is heading for rehab?

The great thing about the Olympics is that it raises our eyes and gives us a vision above the mundane, above our lowest selves.  It inspires us with stories of courage and determination and high ideals.

I read this Monday morning in USA Today:

This was the Olympics in which the Queen said hello, and Michael Phelps said goodbye.  This was the Olympics where a man from South Africa ran with no legs and a woman from Poland played table tennis with one arm.  This was the Olympics that reminded us what it does best – nurturingevery dream. – Mike Lopresti

And then there’s this picture of Olympian Oscar Pistorius.

“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things…” Philippians 4:8

I know, there are the exceptions, but again, mostly I think the Olympics raise our sights.  Here are 4 of the true and noble things that inspired me

1.  Behind every winner (and loser) is a mom, a dad, a coach, a team, a hometown building into them, cheering, driving them to practice, buying shoes for them…

Who is one person you’re building into – equipping, encouraging, correcting, or coaching in some way – whether that’s your children or a student or an immigrant?  What can you do for them today?

2.  Both winning and losing reveal true character.   The arrogance of a Usain Bolt.   The gratitude of an Oscar Pistorius.  The humility of 17-yr-old swimmer Missy Franklin.

What character qualities do you want revealed through your reactions to the highs and lows of life?

3.  Every victory (large and small) is the result of daily making the hard choices of discipline over apathy, pain over comfort, perseverance over resignation, and just showing up over and over again for practice when no one is cheering.

Where’s one place you can bring your best today that no one may see and may have no immediate pay off, but matters?

4.  We’re all better when we’re for each other.  I loved the image of a “global cheer”.  Kirani James, Gold medal winner from Grenada swapping race bibs with Oscar Pistorius totally embodied this for me.

How can we be truly for each other, regardless of gender or nationality?  How can we promote win/win/wins?

Those are just four things I’m trying to pay attention to.  What about you?

 What’s one lesson you want to take from the Olympics?

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