When the world is silent about your dreams

“And do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2


My husband and I have been TV junkies this week, thanks to the World Track & Field Championships going on in Moscow. There’s typically about four hours of live coverage for us to record overnight and then two more hours mid-day. So when we settle in for the evening, we take our dinner and sit on the couch and try to go through the six or so hours of coverage as quickly as possible. Afterward, I catch up on Facebook and Twitter, sites I dodge throughout the day so I don’t see outcomes of any of the race.

It’s an exciting week to be a track and field fan, but it’s frustrating, too. NBC never shows enough of the distance races, instead breaking up a lap or two here and there with field events and even a news story about anticipated trouble in the upcoming winter Olympics, which will be held in the Soviet Union. There’s a time and place for those stories, but right in the middle of a 10,000 meter race? Not the time.

I’ve also been struck by NBC’s poor announcing. I mean, I expect poor announcing in general from the network, because NBC seems unwilling to hire commentators who get excited about what they’re watching, but specifically, I’m shocked when they don’t even mention an American athlete’s name during a race. This is an American broadcasting company, and its commentators can’t bother to name all three Americans running in a particular race?

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Olympic-sized courage

This week, I’ve been taking a closer look at the courage of Deborah, a prophetess who was one of the judges of Israel before they had kings to rule over them. Judges 4:5 tells us that she sat under the palm tree of Deborah, where the people of Israel sought her out to settle their disputes.

Deborah had the courage to take on a nontraditional career for a woman in a patriarchal society, and her faith and courage were contagious. When she told a man named Barak that God intended for him to lead the Israelites to victory against an oppressive king, Barak refused to go into the battle unless Deborah came with him. He needed her courage. While Barak lacked courage and complete trust in God’s message, Deborah fully believed, and her belief filled her with courage. Her courage to accompany Barak brought victory to Israel and peace for 40 years. (For more of their story, check out Judges 4-5.)

Modern day courage
Of course, I haven’t only been concentrating on Deborah’s story this week. The Olympic torch and anthem beckon, and though my beloved track and field events don’t start until Friday, I’m glued to the TV and internet more than usual these days.

I admire the competitors’ courage to compete on this global stage, their courage to transform their hopes and dreams and sacrifices into reality at these games, and their courage to face harsh questions if they fall short of their goals. Show of hands: How many of you would be brave enough to face the other end of Andrea Kremer’s microphone at the London Aquatics Centre?

The courage of professing faith
There’s another test of courage going on during the games, and that’s the courage of faith. Faith can be a deeply personal experience, and there are competitors who have a strong faith in God but who won’t display their faith openly. There are others, though, who feel called to put their faith story out in the open. Whether quiet or loud, competitors may find their faith tested at the Olympics.

Today, I’d like to share with you some stories of Olympians’ courageous faith as they give God the glory for their abilities and try to witness to an oftentimes skeptical public about the joy and peace their faith gives them, even if the gold medal doesn’t come their way. Continue reading