Tuesday, February 18, 2014

HOW THE OLYMPICS TAUGHT ME TO BE A BETTER CHRISTIAN (Guest Post)

HOW THE OLYMPICS TAUGHT 
ME TO BE A BETTER CHRISTIAN
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I’m delighted today
to welcome a new
“Guest Writer” 
Gisele Altman.
FYI, I am a fan!
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While watching figure skating during the current Olympics, I was taken by one of the crowd favorites. Standing 5'10" tall, this Russian-born athlete appears magnanimous among his peers — possibly because of his incredibly gaunt physique. Although his skating ability fascinated  me, what I later learned impressed me even more. Born in 1982, and having skated since the age of four, Evgeni Plushenko is 31 years old, making him one of the ‘old timers’ in Sochi. Even more remarkable…. this is his 4th Olympic games. He has medaled in all three previous Olympics, (2002 silver, 2006 gold, 2010 silver), and this one was no different. Despite 12 recent back surgeries, Plushenko still won the gold in this year's team figure skating. Unfortunately, he later had to drop out of the men's single skate because of his previous back injuries.


Plushenko wasn't the only one to make an impression. Chinese figure skaters,  Pang Qing and Tong Jian, have been skating together for over 20 years, where ultimately a romance ensued. They have been engaged for two and a half years — putting off their wedding until after these Olympics. Sadly they did not place in Sochi, and are now retiring. On a bright note, they can begin their wedding plans and start a new chapter of their lives.

In actuality, every athlete I saw, I found amazing. The stories were recurrent — one NBC  video after another — athletes who have met some sort of adversity yet persevered. And while not all of them have had hardships, be assured that all of the them share the same attributes: they have all sacrificed to get where they are; they are all the best at what they do; they are all here to win; and they are all consistently persistent and diligent in their training. All of them remain consistently dedicated. That commitment showed me what I was lacking in my spiritual walk — consistent  dedication.

 

I have been a "practicing" Christian for just over five years now. I have a deep passion for the Lord, and an insatiable thirst to grow as a Christian. I spend time with God daily, I try to attend church continually, serve regularly on the church's production team and I’m actively enrolled at East Coast Christian University. Still, something was missing.

Of all the things that I was doing, I was not consistently dedicating time to God's word. I talk with God every day, but there seemed to always be a reason why I didn't have time to get into the Word. Even with Bibles (NKJ, NLT and The Message) stacked around me, I often found myself too hurried in the morning, then too tired in the evening. John 10:10 states that "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy..." and until recently, I had not realized that Satan was "stealing" my time.


Don't get me wrong, I would still get the word in me daily, whether through a television or radio program while getting ready for work, or from a learning CD while in my car, yet I was not consistently opening my bible and reading. Ironically, on the days that I did spend time in the word — even if for only fifteen minutes — my day would be so much more enhanced. Good days were great and full of favor; bad days, not so bad.

I am aware now and cautious. Just because Satan, in this instance, didn't manifest in obvious ways such as adversity, heartache or pain, he was still being a thief. Not anymore!  Like the Olympians, I'm now remaining consistently dedicated to reading God's precious, life-giving words every day. 

-Gisele Altman
(February 2014) 

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BE MY "GUEST"
Do you have something to say, something to get off your chest or an amazing story to share? From pop culture views and reviews to political commentary to messages of faith, my blog is a great platform for writers to showcase their work. There are very limited criteria for submitting a post. Your views don't even have to be in line with mine — just create and contribute a compelling, well-written story. Interested? Send me and email.

-Chris
AuthorChristopherLong@yahoo.com
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