As a kid growing up in the 80’s, my memory of the Olympics is centered around the American athletes who were involved and winning medals. Mary Lou Retton was a gymnast who found herself on a Wheaties box and into the hearts of all Americans. Carl Lewis seemed like he was winning a medal every time he ran race. Greg Louganis was a big-time diver back then and he won his share of medals. All of these athletic achievements caused so much national pride in our country, these athletes became heroes of sorts.
As we get ready to be spectators for the Winter Olympics here in 2018, many athletes are gearing up for an event that they have trained for years to be at and win. And while many of these athletes throughout the world may be competing in solo events, they are all part of a bigger team, their country. While we as fans may pinpoint certain athletes for their achievements, these athletes understand that they are representing something far greater than themselves, and that is their country. This is something as Christians that we seem to forget sometimes. We are a part of something bigger than us and our journey is not the only one that matters. In fact, Christ tells us in Scripture that it’s not our journey which we should be focused on, but more importantly others. We are a part of a bigger team, and that is the universal Church. When we confess to be a follower of Christ, every day we become a witness to the Church that he founded. A witness to the love that he has for us and all humanity. And this asks the question, “How are we witnessing to the bigger team that we are a part of as Christians?” Are we making decisions and choices that all the angels and saints would be proud of? Or are we making decisions for what is best for ourselves? Just like athletes preparing for the Olympics who want to be a good representation to their countries, we have to ask ourselves what kind of representative do we want to be to those around us. It’s one thing to say we are part of a bigger team but it is another to actually understand it and live that out. So, as we sit on our couches during this month of February and watch these amazing athletes from all of our world perform and represent their countries, let us take time to reflect on how we are representing our “bigger team” to those around us.