Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Golden Perspective

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to watch the US dive team at one of their final practices before heading to Rio. The team practiced at the Georgia Tech pool, and it was awesome to see their talents in person. These athletes are amazingly gifted!
Here is a video of Steele Johnson (on the left) and David Boudia doing one of their 10 meter platform dives. 

Amazing, right?! This is the first year that I've closely followed diving. I always enjoy watching it during the Summer Olympics, but I'm usually learning names while they're in the Olympics instead of knowing them beforehand. But, this year, I somehow saw the dive trials. The trials are the competitions that determine who will advance to the Olympics. The team in that video, Steele Johnson and David Boudia, stood out during their interviews. They always mentioned God and gave Him praise, even when they didn't do so well on their dives. I particularly remember during one round that they did not get good scores. David's response was that God knew exactly where they would be at this point, and that it was all in His control. 
Whether we are in the Olympic trials or "trials" of this life, wouldn't it be great if we all came to that same realization when we face difficult times? We may think that we haven't done well. We may even think that God is punishing us for some reason. But, we should always remember that, according to Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord knows the plans He has for us, not to harm us; but, plans to give us hope and a future. 
David and Steele ended up doing very well with their dives, and they are going to be competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. When they were interviewed, they said that as great as making the Olympic team is, that is not where their identities lie. They said that their identity is in Christ. They also thanked their families for the sacrifices that they've made, but said that none compared to the sacrifice that Jesus made.
When we try to accomplish things, if they don’t work out perfectly, it can be easy to allow a spirit of defeat to overtake us. Or, when things go really well, it is easy for us to allow a spirit of arrogance to overtake. But, if we are rooted in Christ, and we know that is where our identities lie, we should use all opportunities – successes and failures – to glorify God and to bring honor to Him. Then, we will not be likely to fall into despair or haughtiness. 
I was recently chosen to be on the launch team for David Boudia's new book Greater Than Gold: From Olympic Heartbreak to Ultimate Redemption. It is such an inspiring book! In it, he talks about that for years, all he cared about was winning, but that win was never good enough. There was also something more to strive for, and when that next win was accomplished, it was never fully satisfying. So then, what could possibly be greater than gold? Ultimate redemption through Jesus Christ.
The book is being released today. It is about so much more than diving. I can wholeheartedly say that it was more than I hoped for. I loved the candidness of the struggles and the triumphs and the struggles in the triumphs. I feel certain that I will read it time and again. 
I think a lot of people struggle with feelings of not having a purpose or not being fulfilled by life's accomplishments. This book will bring a brand new perspective to your purpose and your happiness. It is available at www.davidboudia.com