Going for gold is a lofty goal, a herculean challenge, an Olympic feat. Going for gold is no pedestrian, elementary task. Therefore, going for gold requires focus, fire and fortitude.
Going for gold requires focus. Without focus, we go from singleness of purpose to being double minded, double tongued, and, well – just plain be-dabbled. Without focus, we have no center and no grounding. Without focus, we have no sail and no rudder. We simply drift and go adrift. Not so of those who focus on the prize and the task at hand. Focus aids our concentration and determination. Focus gives us a point and a purpose. Focus provides centrality and intentionality.
The Olympic athletes are going for gold. Like the Olympic athletes, as believers we must maintain our focus. Our focus is our love for Him; our focus is that we are alive through Him; our focus is our living in Him.
Going for gold requires fire. The fire of the Olympic Torch is a symbol of victory. The Olympic torch represents the bravery of the athletes and is a tradition continued from the Ancient Olympic Games. In ancient Olympia (Greece), a flame was ignited by the sun and then kept burning until the close of the games. The flame first appeared in the modern games at the 1928 games in Amsterdam. The flame itself represents purity, the pursuit of perfection and the struggle for victory. It also represents peace and friendship. “Purity, the pursuit of perfection and the struggle for victory:” how spiritual; how Biblical; how prophetic.
The Olympic athletes have a burning passion in their hearts as they go for gold. Likewise, believers should have a burning passion as well. Fire is one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit creates the passion of God in our hearts. After the two traveling disciples spoke with the resurrected Jesus, they described their hearts as “burning (like fire) within us” (Luke 24:32). After the apostles received the Spirit at Pentecost, they had a passion that lasted a lifetime and impelled them to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).
Going for gold requires fortitude. Fortitude is mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously. Fortitude is required of every athlete that desires to “podium” and win gold. In order to win gold, mental and emotional strength is required. Without it, the stress and the strain of the struggle will do an athlete in. And so it is with life.
Olympic athletes must have fortitude as they go for gold. Believers, of all the people of the world, must have and display fortitude as well. We have a resolve, a doggedness and a determination to love and to forgive because He has loved and forgiven. We have an insistence and a persistence to take the high road and to go the extra mile and to turn the other cheek because this is how He taught us to live. Returning evil for good is our gold medal. Being the “good Samaritan” is our prize. Blessing those that curse us, and in so doing becoming the sons of God, is our reward.
So go for gold. In everything you do and with every word you say, go for gold. Our lives should be lived and our days should be spent going for gold. Not for garish greed, or for selfish gain or for spiritual gluttony – no, no, no. No, going for gold means that we honor and praise and magnify Him and Him alone; for we should do all that we do for and to the Glory and honor of God.