The Podium

The inukshuk here is found in Whistler Park and is almost symbolic of a podium of sorts. The inukshuk is actualy one of the most recognizable symbols of the 2010 Olympic Games and is a part of this years logo...

Today before my shift started I thought I would go exploring. My reasons were two fold, the first being…It’s the Olympics and I want to take in EVERYTHING that I possibly can. The second reason being that it gets pretty dark on Hwy 99 at night so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to over-shoot my bus stop ON PURPOSE incase it happens in the future ACCIDENTLY. I’m still getting used to the buses and timing so I didn’t really “drink in” the whole “Whistler Village” experience but it was still quite nice. Some great stores that will provide me with entertainment over the next couple of weeks and some really neat places have been set up to watch hockey games and so on in the Village which I will take advantage of here soon.

The one thing that I saw today that stuck with me was the image of “The Podium”. In Whistler Village is where some of the medals we be awarded and many athletes will experience a dream come true and the true pay-off to all their hard work and dedication. As I was wandering and thinking to myself I started to wonder what it would take to get onto “The Podium”, and no I wasn’t scheming a way that I could stand on it by slipping through the hoards of security that guard it, but rather in relation to my life as a Believer what is required of me to find “The Podium”?

I can remember being asked before what I felt would make me or deem me “successful” once by my Uncle Dave when he came to visit me here out West when I was going to Summit. I told him that I felt that as long as I was doing what I felt that God had asked of me then I would see that as being successful. He encouraged me by saying he agreed and that he felt that my answer was “correct” but much easier to say then to truly adopt . We all define success differently but I like this definition myself,

“…an event that accomplishes its intended purpose.”

What is our purpose? Being a Pastor or Leader it can be easy to slip into the trap of becoming overwhelmingly concerned with numbers and other peoples opinion. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t see a problem with wanting to see a group grow, students saved (if you know me you’d know that actually my heart), or church expand or have to build, these are all great things. But when that becomes what drives us and the means by which we measure ourselves and our worth, we find ourselves in trouble. You see here is how a draw the parallel with “The Podium”:

  • An athlete trains for countless hours a day to better prepare and equip himself or herself for the task that she is committed to undertaking. Yet many of us struggle to read our Bible daily…
  • An athlete is constantly in communication with their Coach as they known that this is detrimental to their success. And we’ve all heard before the shocking truth of how difficult even Pastors find it to give God a portion of their day to communicate and talk with Him…
  • An athlete is open to criticism from other athletes and the people around them as they know it will help make them better. Many of us would consider this judging and be grossly offended even though the persons motive was pure…

When I think of my conversation I had with my Uncle several years ago and how it altered my thinking in a very positive way I become so thankful for coaches and people in my life that have taken the time and invested in me. So just like the commitment, discipline, determination, drive and so many other things are required for an athlete to reach THE PODIUM of an Olympic Games, the same is required of us as believers. Paul says this to the church in Corinth…

“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. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

1st Corinthians 9:24-30

As the definition of success previously stated, to consider something as being a success it must accomplish it’s purpose. Paul knew his purpose quite clearly and so he ran each day in light of that and we too must do the same. Our purpose is to finish our race! Each of us are competing in our own competition, that being life. Our quest for THE PODIUM is admirable and just, but what exactly will the judges or in this case The Judge be watching for? I would be so bold as to say that the largest youth group, multiple services, expansion projects, and a well paid staff will have very little to do with our placing. I would think that obedience, discipline, commitment, and Christ-likeness would be of more importance. We as Believers are on a quest for more then gold, we don’t desire to necessarily hear our anthem played and stand atop “The Podium” but rater we desire to hear our name called and the simple words “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

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