There’s something about the Olympics. Maybe it’s the herculean effort to qualify. Maybe it’s four years of anticipation. Maybe it’s the record-setting pace and the nail-biting races.
For me, it’s those heart-gripping video productions chronicling the life of the athlete, with parent and coach interviews about the many trials and triumphs —powerfully inspiring minutes leading up to what is expected to be a gold winning performance.For the athletes, it’s way more than a sporting event; this has been a lifelong commitment. They may not get the gold medal, but they’re living a gold medal life.
Recently I read about a young athlete who is not Olympic bound, yet she runs like she is. Six-year-old Yasmine Littleraven captivated me with her smile even before I realized she couldn’t see. But her vision impairment is not her handicap; it seems to be her motivation. Yasmine works hard and has a winning attitude—that’s the foundation to a gold medal life.
I’m challenged by Yasmine’s determination—and her Olympic-style effort. I know I can’t be a winning athlete, but there is another race for me to run. There’s a race for each of us to run. What's your race? Look for your inner gift and pursue it with medal-winning determination. The key to a gold medal life is using your talents to run your life's race.
God has given talents to each of us. They are usually found in the things that give us joy. It's not about money and fame — it's about passionately using our gifts and sharing the joy they bring. An elderly friend, confined to a wheelchair, makes comforters for the local homeless shelter. Another friend’s passion fuels his career as he methodically researches for answers to some of life’s most debilitating diseases. Some are coaches; others are teammates. Some sing, others dance.
Music, art, science, mathematics, sewing, cooking, parenting, teaching, photography....our gifts are as varied as we are. It can be as simple as bringing a smile to someone else.
Even though we’re not in the Olympics, we each have a race to run—and only a short lifetime to run it. Our gold medal life happens as we run our race to win. And we can win it. If you doubt, just remember Yasmine—smile big, hold on to the guide rail, and keep running.
So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. Hebrews 12
Photo credits for Yasmine’s picture: Shannyn Wiseman From 5/24/12 Shelton Mason County Journal