I just watched Shaun White win the gold medal on his score from his first run of two trips down the half pipe in Olympic Snow Boarding. His second run was purely for fun since he had already clinched the gold.
Shaun White is not just an athlete. He is an athlete who LOVES what he does. His focus, determination and willingness to stretch beyond the regular stunts to be on the cutting edge developing new tricks indicates he is always working hard for excellence and beyond.
So, when faced with taking a second run after his first score secured him the Gold Medal, Shaun White did what he has trained to do, go beyond excellence (his first score) and do something no one has ever seen before. As he slid up and down each side of the half pipe feet above the rest of his competitors, making all the “required” tricks look routine and simple, he finished with the newest and biggest trick he had just created. The stage was not perfectly set, he didn’t have ideal speed to accomplish the stunt with effortless flair, but he did it anyway. An accomplished and proficient athlete, he muscled through the new stunt for the love of the sport and the chance to show the fans something extraordinary.
I thought to myself, “If all I had to do was focus on one thing for two decades, I could be pretty amazing at it too!”
Then the still small voice in my spirit speaks, “That is exactly what you are doing as a mom.”
There are no medal ceremonies every four years, but it would be wise to check my growth as a mom, my weaknesses, my strengths, and what fruit is being produced by the little ones I have been given at least once every four years.
You see, the gold medal is already around my neck. The Gold Medal of my identity in Christ and my Salvation is irrevocable. So whether I just slide up and down the half pipe of life, parenting one day at a time, moving through the usual maneuvers with steady skill, or whether I throw my whole heart, personal flair, enthusiasm, energy and divine drive into each jump, twist, turn, and spin, the Gold Medal remains.
My children will become who they become. I trust the Lord with the outcome of their lives knowing He loves them much more than I do (and yes, this is much easier for me to say while they are all under 6 years old).
My job as their mom is to do what the Lord requires of me; to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God. (Micah 6:8) So, not that I have already obtained all this (understanding what it looks like in day to day life) or have already been made perfect (I am not going to always do it “right”) but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers (and Sisters) I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it, but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead (if Shaun White had focused on every fall he would have never invented and extraordinary new trick or excelled at his sport). I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:12-14)
I have my Coach, I have my team mates (my husband and other brothers and sisters in Christ), and I have competitors (distractions that would cause me to lose focus, challenge my stamina, and attempt to undermine my God given creativity and drive). Someday I will stand atop the podium, with my Gold Medal hanging from my neck, arms lifted high in worship and praise as my Coach says to me, "This is my daughter, whom I love; with her I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17)