Like many of you, I am focused on the Olympics—not all of them, but certainly Katie Ledecky and the USA women soccer team. I hope this is less about any jingoism and more a fascination with the focus, the dedication, the discipline of these men and women. It’s amazing to see how they have trained their bodies to perform these specific skills.
I have been thinking about them and how scattered my life often is. The Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard wrote, “The purity of the heart is to will one thing.” He went on to write about heroes of the faith, like Abraham, who heard God calling them and dedicated their lives to following that one thing regardless of the cost.
Life in this century is so rich and diverse. Our ability to have information literally at our finger tips is a great blessing, but like everything there’s a downside. Instead of doing one thing well, too often we do one hundred things adequately. We are pulled in so many directions, we just get through the day by checking things off our list.
What if like Katie Ledecky, we were to dedicate our lives but instead of swimming to knowing God and to radiate that knowledge and love and grace by our presence and our actions? What if that became the event we focused on? What if the prayer we lived out were: “Day by day, Oh dear Lord three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly. Day by day”?
Discipline is what makes disciples. May we ponder the skills the Lord is asking us to refine not so that we might win any medals, but so that God might use us to change the world.