Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Go for the gold... and silver and bronze

by Jordan Shute

I have a slight obsession with the Olympics. Two years ago, prior to the Summer Games in London, I painted the Olympic rings on a t-shirt and a headband. And I have accidentally (OK, knowingly) worn the t-shirt in public. I also made an Olympic “torch” out of tissue paper that I prominently displayed throughout the two week event. I have yet to make a torch for this year’s Winter Games, but my husband has a set of stacking, Russian dolls that we set next to the TV before the Opening Ceremonies this month. Kind of our tribute to Sochi, Russia.

I think I simply love watching lesser-known sports, cheering for the underdog, celebrating great wins, learning about other countries and their customs, and watching all the countries come together to celebrate sports. Of all things, sports bring differing nations together. I also get a real kick out of the uniforms that curlers wear. Because, come on:

What I find most impressive is the dedication of Olympic athletes. Some of them literally had to beg, borrow or sell a cow in order to get to a competition. At times, I’m sure it would have been a lot easier to hit snooze instead of getting up to train; stay home instead of traveling long distances to a competition; or remain on the couch instead of going to the gym. I mean, I’ve seen some of these athletes crash. If I had the chance to crash and potentially break a leg every day, I’d probably give up before I got to the Olympic level.

But God doesn’t let us give up and waste the talents he’s given us. And he doesn’t let us give up on the things we’re passionate about. Trust me, I’ve tried. But God always finds a way to steer me back onto his path. A lot of us won’t stand on a podium or earn an award for finding or acting on our God-given talents. But I know God has a specific plan for my life, and I’d really like the gold, silver and bronze medals at the end. And some goofy curling pants.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jordan Shute is the Executive Ministry Assistant at BUMC. Reach her at