You can choose to “tense up” watching life go by, but there’s an alternative ⇔
by Michael Krigline, February 21, 1998 ~ krigline.com ⇔
Your family is huddled around the TV, watching the best figure skaters in the world compete “for the gold”. A 15-year old American takes to the ice. She looks nervous but excited—she has worked “all her life” for this Olympic moment.
A hush falls on the crowd as the music starts. The announcer’s voice sounds tense—he knows what is at stake. Will she fall? Will her program be judged worthy of the Gold? Will the competition make her choke at this crucial moment? Here comes the first jump… Your wife and children hold their collective breath as the athlete leaps and spins, and then burst into applause—like the crowd thousands of miles away—when Tara Lee lands perfectly. For the next four minutes the air is so tense you could cut it with a knife. With each exclamation from the announcer, with each jump, with each reaction from the sell-out crowd, the blood pressure in your home rises and falls, muscles tighten and relax, and expressions of awe are uttered as if those seated before you could vicariously help this young lady fulfill her dreams.
Meanwhile, you sit there, calm and composed—enjoying the skill displayed on the television to be sure, but marveling at the reactions of your family members just as much. The difference is that you saw Tara on the morning news show with a gold medal around her neck! The race was over, it just hadn’t been broadcast to the fans back home.
In a situation not unlike this Olympic moment, you and your family often face the unknown with fluctuating degrees of excitement and fear. Some of the people around you, and unseen forces far away, seem to be hoping for disaster. Friends and relatives cheer you on. The eyes of Heaven are on you. Will the competition—your adversaries in the unseen realm—cause you to slip at some crucial moment? Will you fall? Will your Judge say “well done” when it is over, ushering you into the streets of Gold?
You can choose to “tense up” and react like the family above, or you can face the day calmly. The difference is faith. Your Heavenly Father already knows the final score, and His Word proclaims it with more reliability than the morning news. Like the dad in front of the TV, God can face our moments of uncertainty with poise, enjoying the experience with us, but doing so without the suspense or fear which so often robs us of our own faith. God is not worried. The blood of Jesus has already paid for any “falls” you will take, and the golden prize is guaranteed for everyone in Christ who finishes the race.
So lighten up! Enjoy the journey while you go for the Gold! Face life with confidence, for the Morning Paper already proclaims the news: “It is finished! In Him we are more than conquerors! In the world we will have tribulation, but be of good cheer: Jesus Christ has overcome the world!”
- Do you enjoy watching sporting events, like the Olympics? Why or why not?
- Talk about your current situation. Who is louder: those who “hope for disaster” or those who “cheer you on”?
- (Answer in your own words.) In the story, why was the dad calm while his family was very tense?
- According to the author, how is the “Olympic moment in front of a TV set” similar to a Christian’s life?
- Talk about one part of your life in which you need to exercise more faith. (If appropriate, ask your group to pray about this.)
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