I am a true Olympic fan. I have always enjoyed watching sports, but there is just something about the Olympic competitions that ignites passion in me for our patriotic participants. My favorite sports are those events that put an athlete to the time test. Whether while racing in tandem with other athletes or against a competitive clock I sit on the edge of my seat holding my breath awaiting the finish line.
These champions, the best in the world, lay it all on the line for one match, one race, or one run. It all comes down to who can cross that line or raise their score above their opponent first so they can claim their victory. But it is when it is all over that we usually discover, through instant replays or back testimony stories, that the gold medal was snatched because of one or a series of little changes or subtleties that their competitors lacked. It is so true that from the Olympics to our everyday lives that minor adjustments equate to major accomplishments.
I am not an Olympian, I do not even play one on TV, but I can apply this equation to my own "Work in Progress". If Luge competitors can point their toes a little to the left in order to bring home the gold we should see hope for the small disciplined adjustments in our daily walk. I am not belittling the Olympic athletes; on the contrary, I am inspired by their dedication. Because of a decision to eat one more or one less item per meal; the choice to spend an hour more a day in the gym; the mindset to learn how to stretch your body an extra inch during each morning warm-up just in case you need the upper hand; a single discipline could be the daily decision that seals a place on the podium as the best in the world.
Just think how minor adjustments in our own lives could alter our futures and keep our work geared toward progress. When we focus on applying this principle of minor adjustments to our strengths we see more fruit produced in our lives.
The opposite becomes true when we strain at overhauling our weaknesses. I have never been great at memorization, but have always had passion and gifts in the field of communication. This was a challenge. I often questioned my desire and talents, wondering why my strength had such a polar weakness. Many years of my life were wasted on trying to memorize lines, scripts, speeches, verses, and the like only to become frustrated with the lack of results. One day I began focusing on what I did well, which is writing and reading. Anything that I needed to memorize I would write down and read out loud. Before plays, speeches, or teaching seminars I would carry with me scripts or outlines that I would re-read out loud during any opportunity that I had available. I began to notice that as I took the stage or podium I was freer to walk away from my notes, and allow my gifts of communication to stretch.
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,"
Gifts will get us so far, but daily disciplines are what carry us the distance. God gives people specific gifts or talents, but only a handful of people choose to discipline themselves in their daily routines so that their gifts become usable at a level of a champion. The reason why many people, including myself, fall short of a victory is because we lose sight of what we need to do today in order to be ready for tomorrow. Sometimes we try to make the simple complicated, but daily success is more like a straight forward equation than rocket science.
Minor Adjustments = Major Accomplishments
The Lord has been encouraging me to make little changes to multiple areas of my life. I have begun to notice major improvements in my finances, parenting skills, health, and my writing as I have applied His advice. I remember a time when I was typing and noticed some discomfort in my back. I stopped typing and claimed health Scriptures over my body and then went back to working through the annoying pain. Believing and claiming God's Word should always be our first response, but it should be followed by an applying practical advice. After typing a few more sentences I noticed how far my laptop was sitting from my fingertips. I pulled the computer a few inches closer, which made me, sit up straighter. By the time I saved and closed my document I realized that I had been typing with no discomfort. A minor adjustment created a major accomplishment for me and my lower back!
I am not an Olympic athlete, but just like one, if I choose to listen to the advice of my coach, The Holy Spirit, I can make progress which will lead me to victory. I have come to learn that when we see our growth as simply making minor adjustments, even "A Work in Progress" can produce major accomplishments.