The Olympic London 2012 has come to an end couple of days ago. I’ve got eight Olympic channels at my disposal, thanks to hubby who decided to add the Sport channel in our Foxtel package, assuming that we would be watching some games. And some games we have been watching.

These kind of sporting events always remind me of the days of FIFA World Cup, starting from the 2002, then the 2006 and 2010. I’ve never been a sporty girl, but I was awake no matter what time when it came to my favorite countries. I’d screamed on top of my lungs, cheering them on and banging my fists on any surfaces nearby whether it was the sofa, my parents bed or my brother’s back haha, got caught in the spirit of competition. I’m pretty sure I’ve documented some of those crazy nights, BUT I’ve had them on Friendster blog, which has turned blank whenever I went to their page. Thank you very much, Friendster, you are so reliable. My poor poor old posts, may you all rest in peace.

And then I added tennis to my list, especially the Aussie Open, since I went out with hubby. We enjoyed watching tennis so much we actually spent some late nights watching several Nadals and Federers during our honeymoon in Hong Kong back in January, with a Cantonese commentator, naturally. It was both hilarious and painful at the same time. Still gives me a headache whenever I think about it. We finished the final in Singapore, watching from an iPad, tethering from the official website using an iPhone, with hubby AND my dad slamming the poor sofa whenever Nadal or Djokovich scored. It was a great moment, I wished I recorded them so loosened up and enjoying the game.

And now, the Olympic games, ultimately.

We were following men’s basketball games and women’s volleyballs, and Aussie’s basketball teams. I liked how both teams, the men (the Boomers) and women (the Opals), are getting better and better after each games. The players whom I thought at first was quite clumsy and didn’t contribute much were actually very skillful and scored quite a lot in general. I salute the coaches to keep trusting them to play in court and not quickly replacing them when they did a wrong turn or missed the free throws. To make a point, one girl who wasn’t too prominent in the first few games actually executed a rarely-happened, arguably the first dunk by a female player in the Olympic. Liz Cambage proved that she was one to be considered (or feared of), not to mention being the tallest player (2.03m) in the team. I would positively look like a midget next to her. Not only by the team and the country, but her achievement was celebrated by the world and will be talked about for quite a while.

And then the women marathon. Hubby was quite shocked when I told him that the ladies had to run for 42.195km. And they make me feel so unfit. The muscles, the six-pack abs, the power *shakes head*. They ran in a group at first, but entering the last 5km you would actually see who were the strong and persistent ones. The top 3 (Ethiopia, Kenya, and Russia) were not running in the front line at first, but their persistence drove them to the finish line, and winning the medals.

I guess I’m far more into country-based sport games compared to league or team-based ones. The first one will always be more meaningful, more genuine, since you don’t strive to win for your own gain. Well yes yes, you will get some benefits when you win, not to mention being called the nation’s hero, but I can’t imagine how it feels to have the pride of your country on your shoulder. And imagine how it feels when you actually win… You go up the podium, with the gold medal around your neck, the flag of your country brushed by the wind and the national anthem is playing to honor your achievement.

All these games, the excitements and the struggles, remind me of how I face my day-to-day life as God’s child. Paul, in Philippians 3:14, explained that because God is calling us to win the Heavenly prize, that’s why we need to race, to press on, to strive to reach the finish line. He also said, “run to win!” (1 Corinthians 9:24). Our life is a race, it’s a marathon, something that we need to persistently go through before our time is up. Each athlete, before coming to the Olympic, must’ve prepared his/her body and mind and soul for the game. They ate well, rested well, and trained well. What they put into their bodies and thoughts and daily trainings would affect their performances at the end.

And just like them, we bear our ‘country’, God’s Kingdom, on our shoulders when we run our race. What we put into our thoughts and daily lives would affect the way we run. Have we been nourishing ourselves with the right ‘bread’? Have we been setting our goals on the right finish line? Have we been obeying the ‘rule of thumbs’ and the requirements to win? Do we want to win?

The more we want to win the race, the more we will have to prepare ourselves. Naturally. Although from time to time, our knees may buckle, our focus may steer away from the route, we may gain some wobbly bits and love handles here and there and slowing ourselves down, but no, we can’t give up. Stumbling shall not stop us from running to Him, because our God, the biggest and wisest Coach of all, is calling us to run to Him. Or jog, walk, limp, crawl, whatever it takes, until we charge through that ribbon on the finish line.

I assume that we agree when I say that this race of life has never been an easy one. It wouldn’t be called a race if you don’t have to strive to win, would it? Strive demands sweat, sacrifice, pain, and sometimes, death. Death of our selves, our own desires, our feelings, our thoughts, our goals, our dreams. Challenges and stumbling blocks are present to teach, to increase, to promote and to strengthen us. You don’t know how strong you are until you are tested on that. I understand there are times when we might sulk and say,

“I’ve had enough of this! I QUIT!!”.

But you can’t quit, really, or you’re as good as stop living. Quitting will only suffer your soul, because deep down inside you know you have to keep running. Dissatisfactions and frustrations in life sometimes are the result of running away from our predestined race. Our souls recognize their Maker. They suffer when they are denied that.

I’m going to end this ‘essay’ with a story of Tsepo Ramonene, a marathon runner from Lesotho who raced in the Olympic 2012, finishing as no. 85, the very last runner went through the finish line that day. He might stumble, he had to walk for 3km because his body couldn’t take the running, and he slumped on the ground, overwhelmed with exhaustion at the end of the race. He finished almost an hour after the 1st runner in, but yes, he finished the race. He might not win that day, but how do you think Lesotho see this man who strived to finish the race ?

When things go tough, be assured that the One who is calling us will not leave us struggling on our own. There are times to strive, and there will be time to finally reach the finish line and be joyous for the race that we have finished.

I’m a bit lost now that the Olympic is finished. But I guess I’ve got my own race to run, now, don’t I? 🙂

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http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=PTc_FoELt8s

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1847053,00.html

reviews and opinions coming up. don’t have the ‘mood’ for this topic yet ..