I recently posted a picture to one of my social media accounts that ignited a heated debate between a Christian guy named *Michael* and an Athiest guy named *Tom*.
*Tom was mad the picture had popped up in his newsfeed. *Michael felt the need to defend it.
It all turned south when they both started expressing dislike for each other’s chosen beliefs. It was a verbal display of mouth muscle to see who could “win” the argument.
After the 36th comment, I stopped reading. After the 123rd comment, I shut it down. I found it too sad. If they had both simply looked to the bottom of the picture, they would have seen 4 simple words that said: 28 days of love.
The entire world is watching the Olympics. This is not breaking news. So I’m sure everyone and their dog has heard about the Dufour-Lapointe sisters who dominated in the freestyle moguls event – two of them claiming gold and silver, and the third placing top 12.
It’s amazing to me that all three sisters made it to the Olympics in the first place. Can someone say golden genetics?
What mesmerized me about their performances was this:
- Their strength of speed ~ the quickness of their movement.
- Their strength of technique ~ the detail in their execution.
- Their strength of posture ~ their confident attitude and composed dispositions.
But it’s the Olympic Games. That’s to be expected, right? Right! But what I wasn’t expecting was their strength of character ~ the humility in which they viewed each other.
Ron MacLean and Jennier Heil did a CBC interview with the entire family. The mom, dad, and all three sisters were asked about their perspective of the day.
Justine – the youngest sis/gold place winner – was asked: “Can you believe it?”
“Not yet. It’s really amazing. I knew I was at the Olympic games, but I was just so focused on what I had to do.”
Chloe – the middle sis/silver place winner – was asked: “How did you deal with the pressure?”
“I used a checklist. I stuck to the plan. I tried to be present in the moment and take it breath by breath.”
But here’s what brought a tear to my eye.
Maxine – the eldest sis who placed 12th – was asked: “Tell us about your experience today.”
- Her strength of speed said this:
“I couldn’t have been more prepared for this, so I’m walking away very proud of myself and also very proud of my sisters.”
- Her strength of technique articulated this:
“I’ll keep chasing my sisters down.” ~while displaying a huge smile on her face~
- Her strength of posture said this:
“The big picture for me is how I’ve grown in the last few months, how I’ve become the athlete I want to be.”
But her strength of character said this: “We’re sisters, but there’s no rivalry. We push each other in a way that the three of us can go for that top spot, that number 1. It’s about values and how you support each other.”
SOMEONE GIVE MAXINE A MEDAL FOR THAT!
Here’s what I learned:
- You can confidently strive for greatness while humbly accepting there’s always more to learn.
- In your pursuit of top spot, you don’t have to step on people along the way as the only way to achieve “it” – being right, being heard, being first place, claiming gold.
- If you think of competition in a healthy way – as something that can challenge you to be a better person, and not something that paralyzes your efforts nor allows for the ugly version of yourself to come out – you’ll be so much further ahead in the bigger picture of life.
- What truly determines if you’re a winner is the ability to appreciate how hard you prepared and how hard you’ll continue to prepare as you move forward.
Success is not about the pathway to perfection, it’s about the process of your progress.
It means you can always strive for faster speeds, greater technique, higher highs and deeper depths. But without character, you will never carry the grace, elegance and humility that goes hand-in-hand with teachability – you will never believe that someone else could possibly have anything new to teach you. Maxine admitted that she has things she can learn from her sisters – her younger sisters. Her. The sister who inspired the other two to even get involved with the sport in the first place. She – an Olympic athlete – admitted she can still learn more. That’s amazing humility to me.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this…
To *Michael and *Tom: if what it takes to be an Olympic Christian or an Olympic Atheist is 1. The speed of your tongue, 2. The technique of your argument, 3. The confrontation of your posture, then honestly, I want nothing to do with either of those kinds of Olympic faith Games. I want what the Dufour-Lapointe sisters displayed.
Because I’d rather receive no medal and have character, then receive 10 medals and have none.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
~1 Corinthians 13:1