Victory

            If it were not for the pandemic, we would have just finished the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. It amazes me the preparations and costs of the Olympics today. Japan had a very elaborate setup prepared that they took down to save for next year.

            I remember the first Olympics I ever saw. In fact, I had never heard of the Olympics before this time. I was spending a not so happy weekend at a place and all I had was a cot and a TV. The only channel I could get had the Olympics on. Since I tend to look for the bright side of life, I found myself very intrigued and quite excited by all the events I saw over those two days.

            When I was a freshman, I went to a high school for a short time that let you pick electives in history. One that I picked was Ancient Greece. I was fascinated about the Greek gods and the people’s lifestyle in such a beautiful place. I do not remember much that I learned but I do remember about the first Olympics that were held in Greece. These Olympics consisted of games of racing and more, like some we still have today.

            The main game was of running up and down a hill with a torch. I wonder if that’s where the torch idea came from? Anyway, the goal of this game was not necessarily to be the first to complete running the course but the first to complete the course without your torch blowing out. If you have ever walked with the candles lit on a birthday cake you know this is not an easy task. If your torch remained lit, you had victory!

            Today, we look at victory as being the first, the biggest and best, or having the most. That is not what God says our victory is.

            1 John 5:4 says, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

            This pandemic has forced a lot of us to turn to our faith more and hopefully forced some to reach toward faith in God through Jesus. I hope people are looking for their victory in God other than in the world more these days.

            As I saw the news brief showing Tokyo dismantling their Olympic decorations, I thought of the disappointment they must feel. They had prepared for a victorious show for the rest of the world to see that was comparable to years past with their Olympic décor. In a way as they took everything down, their torch had burned out, they lost their victory, at least for a while.

            Paul traveled around Greece about the time of the first Olympics in Athens. I wonder if he was thinking about the Olympics as a comparison when he said in 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”

            We all run this race of life. And we can all have victory if we run as to win and winning does not mean being first, the biggest and best, or having the most. Having victory means keeping our torch lit, the torch of faith!

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