On televisions in homes, restaurants, hotels and pubs, as well as on cell phones, iPads and any number of other viewing devices, millions of people have been glued to scenes from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
There is much to be said for the dedication, commitment, ambition, perseverance and drive of the athletes that make it to this ultimate level of challenge. Oh, how different the world would be if each of us lived out our states in life with as much vigor, focus and purpose!
I recently saw a meme on Facebook that perfectly illustrated the “fine-tuned vision” about which I speak. It was an image captured in a split second of a final swim race between 20-gold-medal champion, Michael Phelps and one of his opponents. The frame shows Phelps in mid-butterfly stroke, rising out of the waters, veins and muscles pulsed to their limits, mouth wide open to draw in the next breath and eyes straight ahead toward the finish line.
The swimmer in the lane next to Phelps is also shown coming up above the water in mid-stroke. However, his head is turned and eyes are focused, not on the finish line, but on Michael Phelps. The caption of the meme read, “Winners are focused on winning. Losers are focused on winners.”
It hit me right between the eyes! Immediately, flash-images of life events began scrolling through my mind. How many times have I been thrown off-course and delayed in accomplishing my mission because I failed to keep my eyes on the goal? How many times have looked away? In fact, how many times have I not only looked away, but looked at another person, allowing whatever that person was doing, or appeared to be or have, to crush my spirit, cause me to doubt myself and begin to wallow in self-pity and failure before I’d even finished “the race?”
I’m fairly certain that an Olympic gold medal butterfly swim final is nowhere in my foreseeable future; but, what about the challenges the good Lord will place before me this day, and in the ones to follow? Granted, my simple tasks cannot compare to the practice, regime, structure, diligence and performance required of Phelps and other Olympians, but in my own little corner of the world, my duties, missions and goals are of equal value in God’s eyes. Each of us has been created for a special purpose. Very few of us will be called to represent our countries of origin at the highest level of international competition on earth. Most of us, however, are called to love, share, nurture, build, dream, work, provide, reach out and live our lives to the fullest with grateful, kind and forgiving hearts.
When we (I) take our (my) eyes off the finish line, things go awry. That little meme reminded me to keep my eyes on the goal and focus on the success of my mission. I don’t want to spend my life watching the winners go by. I want to be one of them!
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.