July 28, 2021
In the Tokyo Olympics this last week we saw one of our greatest American gymnasts leave the competition because of mental health issues. No matter how you feel about her decision, there is no question that this is a sad situation. There has been a lot of talk about the pressure of being on the world stage and the weight of the nation’s pride on your shoulders. But these things have always been the case with these athletes. So, we must ask, what takes someone from having the mental fortitude to be an Olympic champion to the place where they cannot even continue to compete?
I can’t help but wonder if the absence of family and loved ones plays into this failure to press on. Because of concerns over COVID-19, the stands at the Tokyo Olympics this year are empty. Gone are the cheers of parents and the hugs of siblings. Gone are those incredible moments where the Olympian is celebrated in their success or comforted in their failure by people who love them unconditionally. The world is fickle. We need people who are there for us in our greatest moments and our worst moments. If you think you can press on and be victorious alone, you are in for disappointment. This applies to God’s people as well. We were never created to be alone. We need one another. We need people in our life who will love us unconditionally with the love of Christ. You will have great success and you will have devastating failure; that is a guarantee. Just make sure you have people who will be by your side through it all.
Loving Father, surround us with brothers and sisters who love us with the love of Christ. Use Your Church to display the importance of a community of unconditional love. Let the world see Jesus’ sacrificial love in the way we sacrificially love one another.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon