A Leap of Faith

fear, risk, leap of faith, fall, get back upI am fascinated to watch Olympic Figure Skaters. They are graceful and make difficult moves look effortless. The speed with which they are on their feet again after a fall never ceases to amaze me.

A lot can be learned from the way they put a mistake behind them and continue as if nothing happened. This gives a powerful visual to the phrase, “Shake it off and carry on.”

The commentators gave me some new insight into this. When one of the complicated jumps results in a fall, it is not the disaster I would have assumed. Only one point is deducted. I saw a skater fall, redeem herself in the rest of her performance and end up near the top of the standings.

On the other hand, when a jump is a required element of a program and not attempted, zero points are awarded for this portion. It would have been more advantageous to fall than not to attempt the jump.

This is a good life lesson for me. I have often been unsure I could accomplish something so played it safe and not even tried. After all, if would be embarrassing to have people see me fall.

Unfortunately, this offers no hope for master anything new. I may have to fall and get back up many times before I’m successful. Instead of being concerned about what others think, I need to focus on doing my best.

The mental image of the figure skaters will help inspire me to go ahead and take a leap of faith.


My Olympic Lesson

#God, #inspiration, Support, guidance, pace myself“I never thought watching a bicycle road race would be interesting,” I said to my husband. The 136.9 km race was well underway when I sat down to watch this Olympic event.

After a steep climb two riders were clearly in the lead. When they started the descent, one pulled away. As her lead increased the commentators said she would be hard to beat. With 10.7 km to go, Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands crashed. She went down hard and didn’t move for quite some time. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for her competitors to ride past as medics tended to her.

Maria Abbott of the USA moved into first place. We watched her maintain her lead until the final few kilometers. A group of three behind slowly decreased the distance between them and passed her in the final meters before the finish line. She gave it all she had but finished out of the medals by mere seconds.

It wasn’t the front runners who won the medals, but the ones who paced themselves. They held back slightly during the race so they’d have the energy to finish strong. They were also the ones who stayed together and shared emotional support during this grueling exercise.

I realized there was a lesson here for me. Many times I’ve had a strong start and then faltered before I reached the finish line. Sometimes I’ve plodded slowly up a steep learning curve. Once I have the required knowledge and am on the descent I try to make up for lost time. As I speed to the finish line I encounter an unexpected bump and down I go. It may be a stumble that I recover from easily. Or, it may be a spectacular crash.

The more time I spend on the ground assessing my disappointment and injured pride, the greater the chance I will admit defeat. Instead of getting back into the race I question why I ever entered it in the first place. In effect, I beat myself.

My objective should not be to set goals that I reach in my own strength. I want to run with endurance the race God has set before me. Instead of trying to speed ahead, I need to follow the pace he dictates. Sometimes that includes slowing down. Part of my preparation must be quiet time spent with God. That’s where the true training comes from. I’ve learned he will guide me and place me with others for mutual support. Together we will advance into the writers he wants us to be. This is how I can hope to achieve the prize of bringing glory to him.

I heard a sports commentator say that in order to be winners, athletes have to believe they belong with the best. That goes for me as well. As a child of God I am already a member of the winning team.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1 NLT)

Cheering Them On

making a difference, cheeringMuch of the world has spent countless hours, over a seventeen day period, in front of their televisions watching the events of the winter Olympics. Each of us cheers for the athletes of our own country. In Canada, many people traded sleep for a chance to watch our men’s team play hockey for the gold medal. Even though it meant being up by 4 or 5 am, it was something willingly done. The cheering could not be heard by the athletes, but the support that the nation showed was unmistakable.

This has made me think of the opportunities I have to cheer people on in life. I can do this in person rather than just in front of a television screen, where the people I’m cheering for don’t know that I am there. I can encourage and cheer on people I come in contact with on a daily basis. It may only take a smile or a kind word. Something this simple could be just what is needed to help someone get through their day. It may even have a ripple effect as they pass it on to others. Who knows the difference I may make by taking the time to cheer on those around me.

I smiled on them when they had lost confidence; my cheerful face encouraged them. Job 29:24 Good News Translation

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