There they stood teetering at the top of the steps, big smiles on their faces, ready for the treacherous challenge…
Wait… Let me backtrack a little. My family enjoys watching the winter Olympics. During the last winter Olympics in Sochi, we spent family time watching the Women’s freestyle skiing mogul event. If you’re not familiar with it, moguls are artificially made snow bumps that the skiers maneuver through like a gauntlet using turning techniques which is 50% of the score. The rest consists of 25% air stunts and 25% speed. It was the first time my kids had seen anything like it, and we were all glued to the screen cheering on the American competitors.
Soon, however, I noticed the room had grown quiet. My husband and I looked about for the kids, only to find all three boys at the top of the stairs standing on our toy box cushion. They were prepped and ready to try their own mogul course with the pillow as their makeshift skiis and the steps as the moguls. After recovering from heart palpitations, I asked them if they thought this was a good idea. Each responded, “I can do it,” without any hesitation.
All I thought about was the chance of injury. The high probability of not only failure but painful bone breaking failure, resulting in our spending the weekend in the ER. I must admit, though, I liked their attitude.
When I heard about the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled team, I flashed back to this memory. Yes, Nigeria has never had a bobsled team. Yes, no country on the African continent has ever qualified for the Olympics. Yes, Nigeria’s climate is considered tropical. Yet, these three amazing women said, “We can do it.”
A lack of snow didn’t stop them. Adigun, their brakeman, built a bobsleigh for training purposes (nicknamed the Mayflower) that runs on track, turf, and other surfaces. Adigun was quoted by a CNN as saying, “We want to be able to be something that people can really be able to be proud of.”
So how do we gain back our “we can do it” attitude? How do we face life’s trials and opportunities with the faith of David as he faced Goliath? It’s all in how we look at ourselves. When we look in the mirror, we see our weaknesses. The devil goes to town with it. He reminds us of our past failures, makes us think we’re not good enough, or don’t have what it takes. But, when we look in the mirror, what we should see God’s reflection peering back at us. We need to realize the Holy Spirit dwells within us, and it’s in God’s power not our strength. God has prepared in advance the work he has for us (Ephesian 2:10). He has given us what we need for this moment (2 Peter 1:3).
Let me leave you with one last quote from Onwumere, Adigun’s teammate from the Nigerian Bobsled team.
“This journey has taught me that self-improvement is on a continuum. Even when we get to the Olympics, it’s still like, “What happens next?” And that’s what life is about, just always wanting to improve.”
So what does God have next for you?
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