Motivation Monday: Winter Olympics Version

The 2018 Winter Olympics are in full swing, and since a Motivational Monday post is way overdue I decided to focus on three great quotes from a few people who know a little bit about this great competition.

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Pierre de Coubertin was a French educator who is widely known for forming the International Olympic Committee. His wise words still ring as true today as they did when he spoke them over one hundred years ago. Don't get me wrong, winning is excellent. But how you get there is extraordinarily important. Your character, work ethic, drive, determination, sportsmanship--these matter, even if you lose. Same goes for life, you won't win every battle, but how you fight those battles speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. Our daily struggles teach us so much and I honestly believe without them you can't experience true success. Gus Turberville, a former University of Minnesota professor had this to say concerning Coubertin's quote: "To win constantly, to always be successful, and never meet with failure are almost sure ways of developing arrogance, coldness and hardness. We would be wretched creatures if we did not know how to experience defeat. Without defeat, who would savor victory?"

It is clear to me that Olympic gold medalist David Wise knows what kind of platform God has blessed him with, and how quickly it can be stripped from him. 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Every single thing we do should be for the glory of God, not man.

What these athletes do is incredible, but God didn't give them these talents so they could get famous and then waste their platform. He intends for them to use it to reach people. We should be doing the same. We all have God-given talents and some type of platform-whether it be large or small. So next time you're competing or you're up for a promotion at work, ask yourself, "how can I use this to further God's kingdom?"

Olympic pair skater Alexa Knierim is no stranger to the downs in life. Less than two years ago she underwent a series of three life saving surgeries which forced her and her husband and partner, Chris, to bring their training to a halt. They also lost his father during this time. I'm sure it felt like their world was falling apart. They decided to lean on God and have openly discussed how their faith has been strengthened during this difficult time. Fast forward to 2018 and they are representing Team USA in PyeongChang, a dream that probably felt impossible at times. If she had never felt the real possibility that the goals she had worked so hard for could be taken at any moment, never felt the sting of disappointing news and setbacks, she might not truly appreciate this amazing opportunity to compete, to represent our country. We too often take for granted the good times, experiences, or relationships, and it isn't until we are at our low, until we are in the downs of life, that we begin to appreciate where we have been and where we are going.

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