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Last night I was glued to the closing ceremony of the Olympics. I wanted to see the culmination of all that I had watched over the last two weeks. There were so many good athletes. So many inspirational stories. And to be honest, so many amazing women competitors. I will never forget Kerri & Misty, Missy Franklin, Gabby Douglas. And the runners!!! – Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross, Carmelita Jeter. Just an incredible event all around.

It was no wonder to me that I was glued until the torch went out.

It wasn’t so much for the entertainment, which I did enjoy. It wasn’t so much to hear about the next Olympics, which I am looking forward to in 2016. It was for the closure of what was a great event.

Paul knew the same feeling. He had this same emotion.

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.

(1 Corinthians 9: 24-27a NLT)

Paul was familiar with the games of his day. He alludes to the familiar athletic competition that was held every two years in Corinth, The Isthmian Games. He knew full well the training that athletes endured in order to participate. So what can we learn from this?

  • strict self-discipline is required of us all
  • we are not just to go through the motions
  • we have purpose
  • we run to win

I think the part of the closing ceremony that to me was most meaningful was the Olympic cauldron being put out. To me it was closure. No race could be rerun. No event attended. It was a done deal. The medal count was final. It was a bittersweet moment.

Paul also was familiar with this feeling:

I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me – the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give m on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for ALL who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

(2 Timothy 4: 7-8 NLT)

So what do we learn from this?

  • Fight – to win
  • Finish – the race
  • Faithfulness – remain faithful to Him

It all resonated with me. The Olympics – from start to finish. What a great two weeks.

Thank you London for a great time.