The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are here and the world is watching with bated breath. Approximately one billion people tuned in to watch the Opening Ceremonies! The "fab five" have captured our hearts while capturing gold, and Michael Phelps continues to impress as he wraps up his Olympic career as the most decorated Olympian ever. Some questions remain... Will Usain Bolt stun the world again? How does the 2012 USA basketball team compare with the 1992 Dream Team?
As we turn our eyes to London, we watch athletes compete who have literally been training their entire lives for this moment. They proudly wear their country's colors and hope to give a gold medal worthy performance.
It is no surprise that throughout scripture, the apostle Paul uses the imagery of training and running when writing about the Christian journey. Like the Olympic athletes we cheer on, we are called to train and run for a prize on behalf of the place we call "home." Paul says we are to "train [ourselves] to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come" (1 Timothy 4:7-8). He charges us: "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). How are you training yourself for godliness? Is your heart motivated by that which is perishable or that which will last forever? How can you encourage and run alongside your teammates -- our Uttermost Sports representatives -- running this race around the world?
As we watch the Olympic runners, swimmers, and gymnasts compete for their countries, may we remember that "our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20). Until that day, may we "run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2).