University Blog

What the Olympics and Lent Have in Common

Posted by Rev. Ben Trammell on

 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.  Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.

 -Paul,  Ancient Olympic Commentator, Saint and Writer of significant portions of the New Testament (2 Corinthians 9:23-25)


The Olympics are in full swing and have caused a bit of excitement in our house.

“Are those medals real gold?” Is a popular question.

“Those (figure skating) outfits are...uh...interesting.” - Our 4th grader's observation

“Why are they cleaning the floor? Why are they playing that game?” - A pretty solid question about curling.

The Winter Olympics is filled with events that are foreign to a kid from Texas. I am amazed at the skill, the talent and the performance of these athletes, but I really don’t understand what they are doing and what it took to get there. The back stories the broadcasts include are helpful in filling in the gaps. I have noticed that none of them feature family and friends saying how lazy and uncommitted the Olympian is or was as a child. All of them in some way talk about the family sacrifice that made possible the Olympic moments we celebrate. It turns out no one is an Olympic level performer or participant on accident. If they are there, then they arrived on purpose because they were willing to live with a purpose.

Paul points to this commitment in athletes in Roman and Greek games and races that would have roots in the Ancient Olympics and says that following Christ should demand the same. The disciplined life is the fruitful life. In this season of Lent, we are particularly reminded of the power to be formed and fashioned by the spiritual disciplines of our faith. Every Sunday until Easter, we will be studying and preaching about a spiritual discipline that aids our journey toward the ‘imperishable’ medal that God offers to us in Jesus Christ.


Pastor Ben


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