Thursday, 09 August 2012
By Conrad Ma
So like any patriotic Canadian, I am closely following how Canada is doing in the medal standings at the London 2012 Olympics. So far our medal count is a respectable 11 as I am writing this. And I would be really happy if Canada gets a top 10 finish.
That being said, it has been admittedly very annoying to see that country down south get a huge medal haul Olympics after Olympics. This is especially annoying after we just suffered a bad semi-final loss in Women's Soccer to that country due to some very questionable calls by the ref. (We could practically introduce Canucks Towel Power to this match the next time the two teams meet.)
Aside from that, the Olympics has reminded me about being inspired and striving for big dreams. As much as I am annoyed about that country, they are doing a lot of the right things to achieve success. The Americans have figured out that there's something about sports that really inspires a nation to strive for their very best. It is also the fact that there is huge media coverage every time the games come around that reinforces it.
Watching inspiring athletes from your own country can get anybody to start doing jogs around the block -- or in my case it is firing up the Nike+ app to do 5km runs 2-3times a week. Judging from this experience, I finally realize why the Americans have been such a economic power for a long time until recently. They play the game well in that they inspire their country to be unified under an American dream of huge success and big dreams. I mean despite some very obvious set backs that the Americans have suffered economically and socially, I think we can all agree that Americans are more often than not inspired to do their very best in whatever they do.
So here are some verses the popped up to me these days:
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
The Olympics and these verses come up in my mind because there's definitely a place where Olympic performances inspire all of us to strive for our very best in the way that Colossians 3:22-24 does. However, I feel there is often tension between striving our very best and also finding the Godly contentment in where you are like Paul describes in Philippians 4:13. There is a sort of balance that each person has to find personally. Also, the Olympics isn't exactly the best place to illustrate Colossians 3:22-24 as it is talking more about the context of slave and master back in Roman times. So when looked at that way, it seems that both of these verses don't have that tension at all. They actually support each other. One verse tells us to be content with where you are because God placed you there for his good and perfect plan and the other verse encourages us that God will see the work that you put in and there is much reward when you do offer up your best to Him.
So the question here how do you find Godly contentment while still doing your very best for God?