I love the Olympic Games. Passionately. Summer, winter, I don’t care. Give me curling or team handball or rhythmic gymnastics, and I’m happy. I wonder what it must feel like to be the unquestioned best in the world at something. What must it be like to see concrete evidence of your excellence – a culmination of a lifetime of time, money, sweat, blood, and tears? I wonder how it feels to stand on the highest tier of the podium, at the pinnacle of your sport, representing your hopes, your parents’ hopes, sometimes the hope of an entire nation.
It must be glorious.
Sometimes I look at these Olympians, I see their power, I see their skill, I see their dedication and I wonder did they ever dream of something else? Did the world class diver ever dream of being the best runner in the world? What about the wrestlers, the swimmers, the gymnasts?
Undoubtedly many of these athletes would excel in a number of areas, but would they be the world’s best?
They had to make sacrifices along the way. They had to choose to specialize. They had to go to where their natural abilities met their opportunities. And those sacrifices along with a superior work ethic made a glimpse of glory possible.
I’m not an Olympian. I’m not even an athlete. Sometimes the most exercise I get is chasing my crawling infant to beat him to the crumbs my daughter drops or running down my toddler to keep her from bolting through the automatic doors into the grocery store parking lot.
Here is the point. We all have gifts. I have gifts. But sometimes . . . frequently, I fantasize about the gifts of others. What would it be like to be able to run a mile (I’m not an athlete okay)? What would it be like to sing on Broadway?
It’s depressing. I get so focused on wanting what I don’t have, that I forget to devote my efforts into what I do have.
I will probably never be a world class artist or instrumentalists or singer. I will never be an expert at throwing parties or interior design. I will never be a chef or an athlete. But those aren’t my gifts. While I may be able to improve by investing my efforts into these goals, no matter how hard I work, it will never get me to the top of that podium.
I have to be willing to dedicate my efforts to developing my gifts. As appealing as it may be to have the showy talents, they were never meant to be mine. But the potential is there in all of us to be exceptional in our own sphere of influence. The seeds of glory are there for all of us if we are willing to nourish them.
Light the Darkness,