Point to Ponder:
How can your personal bounty, your experiences, your gifts, and your passions be a blessing to and for others?
Due to the electrifying performances by Simone Biles and the United States Women’s gymnastics team, as well a Michael Phelps and USA swim teams, the sports of gymnastics and swimming will see a dramatic rush of new participation in the up and coming months. Despite that my window of time to become an Olympic gymnast or swimmer has passed, I can undoubtedly say that if I were in elementary or junior high, I would for darn sure be begging my mom and dad to sign me up so I could be just-like-them. The competitions have so deeply inspired Durant, my five year old son, that he starts and finishes his day by racing around the house and posing as Usain Bolt, and he’s now swimming laps. Before belly-flopping in the pool, he first bends down to perform the Michael Phelps back slapping shoulder stretch. He, like many of us, have been bitten by the Olympic bug.
I feel as though the 2016 Olympics has been one of the best and most emotional competitions I have ever seen. My family has been glued to the television and moved by each athlete’s performance and story, because like you, they all have a unique one that needs to be shared.
As we all know, since his last Olympics, Michael Phelps has overcome addiction and depression, has restored his relationship with his father, is engaged to be married, has a newborn son and a new faith. Remarkable! Then, due to her mom’s struggle with addiction, Simone Biles was raised by her grandparents who she refers to as Mom and Dad. And, Marta and Bella Karoly–the most successful and renown gymnastics coaches to ever live, took an unthinkable risk in 1981 when they defected to the United States from communist Romania. Now they live on a ranch outside of Houston, built with their bare hands and serves as the USA Gymnastics Training Center. And, just a cool side note, their daughter (their only child) is married to a Texan. In an interview, when asked about their daughter, in his thick Hungarian accent, Bella said, “She is great and married to a real Texan”. As a proud Texan myself, I’d say that Bella and Marta are also filled with Texas pride.
While the personal stories were powerful, so were the interviews, quotes and commercials throughout the Olympics. Here are few that moved me:
- “I could choose to snooze, but I choose to be AWESOME!” Simone Biles
- “What I love about swimming is what you put in it is what you get out.” Kaitlin Ledecky
- “We’re all just a kid from somewhere.” Powerade
- “We are all athletes. We are all fans. Life is a sport. Be unstoppable.” Ford Motor Company
There’s no doubt that each Olympic athlete has been blessed with a God-given physical talent that allows them to reach their competitive levels, and while their gifts and stories happen to be played out on the world stage, you too have a God-given talent and/or treasure that has been gifted to you for a greater good and for others to benefit from. Similar to Simone Biles’ quote, we can choose to hide it and snooze it away, or we can choose to be awesome and share it. As my good friend and iGnite member Crystal Tidmore wrote in a recent sermon, “Life isn’t defined by how much you have. Life is determined by how you share what you are given.”
Despite our talents or treasures, we are all “just a kid from somewhere” who wakes up every morning with a choice: to have a tenacious desire for unstoppable impact in the lives of our community or merely coast through each day repeatedly hitting life’s snooze bar. So, while we are not competing in the Sports Olympics and should not expect to receive the attention or accolades the athletes do, consider that sharing your talents and treasures are even more important, powerful and useful as the athletes who are competing in front of the world. Why? Because there are far more of us than there are Olympic athletes which produces an Olympic size effect.
Your story is definitely yours, but it doesn’t belong to you. Your story has been written by God and is yours to tell. The question is how can your personal bounty, your experiences, your gifts, and your passions be a blessing to and for others?