All eyes will be on London starting July 27th for the 2012 Olympic Summer games. Ever since our boys were little its been a family tradition to track the achievements of the world’s best in general and Canadians in particular at the Olympics. So we’ll be watching for Jessica Zelinka, Simon Whitfield, Paula Findlay, Karen Cockburn and Clara Hughes to name a few.
At North Pointe, during the Olympics, we are being motivated by the words of 1 Corinthians 9:24-26. When New Testament writers taught about the high calling of a Christian, they often chose the efforts of Olympians to illustrate the level of commitment required. We are looking at Focus, Fitness, Fuel, Faith and Finish in a series of messages called “ALL IN.” To be “all in” is what is required to flourish in the Christian life. Christianity is so counter-cultural that to move forward against the current of values, a believer has to be “all in.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 describes it as “running to win.”
The value of spiritual fitness in particular is, it gives a believer the freedom to excel for the Lord. In the same way an athlete voluntarily submits themselves to the training of a coach, we submit ourselves in obedience to Jesus. We are most free when we are under authority. An athlete can best succeed when they discipline themselves to follow their coach’s program. The Lord will put you through exercises in His gym – flexibility, aerobic, anaerobic, resistance, and even agility training. ( Habakkuk 3:19 – “The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer.”)
Niki Oudenaarden is a part of the North Pointe family and she has been training as a hepthathlete. She is enrolled in San Diego State University on an athletics scholarship. I caught up to her in Spain, where was competing in the IHF World Junior Championship. I asked about her training and she volunteered the following about her fitness and her faith.
“Today as I have been sitting in my room all day mentally preparing for my competition tomorrow, I get to sit back and think of my training. As I have prepared to throw my best(javelin) I think of all the exercises I have done, to make my shoulder and back stronger, while maintaining and increasing the flexibility as well. There has been dedication to my athletics and training from my multiple coaches – Linda Blade, Glenn Smith, Antoine Bosombo, and my dad Tony Oudenaarden. Through it all it has made me stronger both mentally and physically, but in the duration of it all there is a phase that makes me a little bit more different than everyone else. Because I have had the training in the Lord, I have read my bible and prayed, to create a stronger relationship with my spiritual walk. In the end with all the hours spent training at the track, sprinting, throwing tennis balls, or javelins, or weight lifting, each movement is to strengthen my body, but there must be the balance to be strengthened from the Lord. In this past year I went through a phase were I was weak in both my training in my sport as well as my training in my spiritual walk. As my spiritual walk got stronger, I felt my body gaining strength again as well. Every day I have to go to the track and run until my face is red, and I feel weak and tired, I also get the time to thank the Lord for the talent and the possibilities he has provided for me.”
Are you “all in?” Let us know.