Much of the world is caught up with Olympic fever right now. From the breathtaking beauty of the opening ceremonies to the tragic murder of Todd Bachman, many of us have been engrossed with the happenings in China. (Concern for our brothers and sisters in faith will be shared in a later post.) Two events at the pool caught my eye: MIchael Phelps gold medal and Park Tae-hwan‘s victory in the men’s 400 freestyle.
While most of the world knows about Michael Phelps, Park’s win is especially touching when you realize that at the last Olympics, he had a false-start and was disqualified before he got to swim in his event. What a great recovery from such embarrassment and frustration four years earlier. He didn’t quit on his dream, but instead used his disappointments to lead him to world championships and an Olympic gold.
Park’s story reminds me of three great Olympic stories about finishing. These three stories have captured the hearts of many folks over the year because they each focus on on an athlete that finished his event, even though there was no chance of winning. One was bruised and battered from a bad fall, another completely exhausted and had to be helped across the line, and the third was a young man whose dad came out of the stands and helped his son finish after a severe hamstring injury. For more on each of these stories, check out the link to a Heartlight article and a Wikipedia entry:
While each of these stories — along with Park Tae-hwan’s story — is compelling, there is another story of finishing that makes these others seem almost trite. It’s the story of God’s Son enduring the Cross. Jesus’ words, “It is finished!” are not only a declaration of having done what the Father sent him to do (John 4:34 NLT), they are also a kind of victory cry (John 12:31-32 NLT).
I talk about some of this in my Heartlight article this week, but I’d also like to hear from you about how you will know when you’ve done what the Lord has put you on earth to do.
Do you believe you were put on earth by God with a specific purpose and specific things you were supposed to do?
How do you know what those are?
Do you think You can know when you have “finished” what God put you on earth to do?
What do you think Jesus means when he crys, “It is finished”?
I’d really love to hear from you on this in the response section below!