Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. – I Corinthians 9: 24-25
A few days ago I had never heard of American runner Sydney McLaughlin. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am not a big sports fan, unless I personally know a participant, or if it’s the Olympics. But lately I have been introduced to a young lady who has impressed not only the world, but even this little non-sports fan. What captured my attention was a post quoting her after she had broken a record for running before the Olympics. Not knowing anything else about her, I knew immediately that she was my sister, that someday I will meet her, and that in the next few days I will be watching for her and rooting for her. I can’t wait to hear her use her platform to give glory to Jesus again, to the whole world.
Monday night McLaughlin ran in the women’s 400-meter hurdles semifinals and predictably came in first. I cheered out loud. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have done that watching sports. (Did I say “one hand”? Make that “one finger.”)
Tuesday night I watched again – and cheered again – as she passed the other contenders and won gold, followed immediately by her good friend Dalilah Muhammad, winning the silver. The two had been challenging each other and making each other better and better. The phrase “Iron sharpening iron” was used more than once, a quote attributed to McLaughlin, although McLaughlin was quoting the Bible. (“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17) Their inspiring relationship has won them respect from people all over the world.
In honor of Sydney’s accomplishments, and her 22nd birthday tomorrow (August 7), I want to share with my readers this article about a woman who truly has “divine perspective.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your body is made up of so many members, and although we don’t all have the same function, we are one. Thank You for members like Sydney McLaughlin, who accomplish great things, who have the eyes and ears of the world on them, and who use that platform to give You glory. Thank You that we too have assignments uniquely prepared for us, and although our audience is probably far smaller, may we be faithful in what You’ve called us to do, even if it is for an “audience of One.” Thank You for not judging us by earthly accomplishments as the world does, but by our faithfulness in whatever task You send us to do. May we stay faithful and not let the enemy convince us that because we aren’t famous, our witness isn’t still of utmost importance to You. In Your name, amen.