The pressure to produce, the pressure to perform, and the pressure to pull off a victory is no more evident in any sport than in the Olympic Games. Pressure means to compress or squeeze, as to alter in shape or size. It means to weigh heavily upon.
While pressure may have positive attributes, unfortunately, the pressure to measure up to others expectations may lead to very unhealthy consequences. It is one thing to want to win; it is another thing entirely to feel you HAVE to win, especially for the wrong reasons.
Russia is under pressure, some of it self-inflicted. As the host country, Russia is under the gun, so-to speak, to win more gold medals than any other country because of their home ice, home slope and home snow advantage. Why the stress? Why the strain? Why do countries, and the athletes themselves, put so much weight on winning? Isn’t participation enough? Isn’t making the team a noble achievement? Isn’t the thrill of sharing and contributing to the Olympic experience sufficient? For some, apparently not.
American Sage Kotsenburg won the gold medal in the new event called “Slopestyle,” but he didn’t feel any pressure. While the course that chased teammate Shaun White to the apparent safety of the halfpipe took out its fair share of riders, Kotsenburg kept his cool in the finals. He unveiled a new move he calls the “Holy Crail,” a move that makes it appear as if he’s spinning like a top as he rotates 4 times, grabbing the board behind his back in the process. “I’d never even tried it before, literally,” Kotsenburg said. “Never ever tried it before in my life.”
For Kotsenburg there was no pressure. He has spent most of his career on the sport’s second tier. When he captured the final Olympic qualifying event in California last month, it was his first win since he was 11.
Like Kotsenburg, we have no pressure. For the believer, we don’t have to worry about the pressure of performing, or the pressure of achieving, or the pressure of “doing.” Ours is not a gospel of works, it’s a gospel of grace. Instead of “doing” we only have to focus on “being.” Paul the Apostle told us that “in Him we live, and move and have our being;” that’s it – we “have our being” in Him. We don’t have to concern ourselves with fading or failing or falling short. We don’t have to agonize over our performance. We give our best, and He does the rest.
So we have no pressure. We don’t have to worry about what we’re going to eat, or what we’re going to drink or what we’re going to put on. We don’t have to worry about what others think or what others say, as long as we put our faith and trust in Him. For our God knows what we have need of before we even need it.
So don’t worry. Don’t sweat. Don’t lose any sleep over your situation or your circumstances. God’s got it. There’s no pressure. There’s no problem He cannot solve and there’s no trouble He cannot resolve. God’s got the whole world in His hands; He’s got the little bitty baby, in His hands; and He’s got you and me sister, and you and me brother, in His hands.
Don’t worry, be happy, in Jesus.