New Year’s Resolution
(The New York Times, Far From A Straight Shot to a Milestone Achievement. July 29, 2012)
Kim Rhode became the first American athlete to win five medals in an individual event in five consecutive Olympic Game
She earned a gold medal in women’s skeet, setting an Olympic record and tying the world record by hitting 99 of 100 targets. She also became the first woman to win three gold medals in Olympic shooting.
She cast purple plumes in the air as she hit target after target after target, calmly casting her discarded shells into the basket beside her. Realizing she was on her way to gold, Rhode cracked a smile after hitting her 95th shot.
After Rhode’s final shot, the audience rose to its feet for an ovation, which was followed by Rhode’s tearful acceptance of her medal.
“I don’t think it ever becomes old hat,” she said of the Olympics, adding, “It’s really about the journey.”
Rhode’s path to the record books was not a linear one.
In the four years leading to the London Games, she had a breast cancer scare, and the gun she had used for years — a prized, customized and pricey possession for elite shooters — was stolen from her car after the Beijing Games. It was recovered a year later, but in the interim, she had to adjust to a new firearm, which she likened to a swimmer having to learn a new stroke.
“It was very fortunate to have gotten it back,” she said. The gun she won the gold medal with Sunday was the one that was donated to her when her gun was stolen.
“It’s a pretty amazing story to have so many people who believe in you,” she said.
“The journey to this one was one of my most challenging,” she said. It made her winning of the medal “that much sweeter.”
Rhode began shooting when she was 10 and is coached by her father.
She began her Olympic career with a gold medal in double trap in 1996 at 17, making her the youngest person to win an Olympic medal in the sport. Then, after the 2004 Games in Athens, women’s double trap, was eliminated from the Games.
Undeterred, she made the transition to skeet and earned a silver medal in that event at the Beijing Games.
She averages 500 to 1,000 rounds a day, seven days a week.
“They have me at 3 million-plus targets under my belt,” she said. “I know at a very young age, I was very focused. It’s something definitely I can do for a long time,” Rhode said, adding that she plans to compete in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. “Right now, I’m just going to take it one competition at a time.” (The New York Times, Far From A Straight Shot to a Milestone Achievement. July 29, 2012)
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 says this: 24 Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So run to win. 25 Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.26 So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air. 27 Instead I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified.,
Paul says that life is a race and its a race that we are all entered in so we might as well compete. We can choose to sit down at the starting line but it is to our detriment. Our entry fee was paid by Christ’s blood, the starter has fired the gun, and our finish will still be recorded. Only those that complete the race get to advance to the next event. Run to win. Run to finish. Maybe, you’re thinking “I’m not a Bible scholar, or a pastor, or have any noteworthy position in the church.” Well, praise the Lord; these are not requirements to run the race. At the very least run the race in such a noble, honorable, and faithful manner that you are allowed to finish. Compete so that even if you do not win by the standards of this world, you will not be ashamed of how well you finished when you stand before the ultimate judge: Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 4:20-27 gives us wisdom on how to run this race. It says this:My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
- Listen up!
- Keep God’s word close to your heart
- Guard heart
- No perverse or corrupt talk
- Fix eyes on the path ahead: God’s will for you
- Follow His will
- Do not take any detours!
This is going to be my resolution this year. God impressed on my heart that this is the way to lasting change. Resolutions are usally broken by mid-January. We say I’m gonna eat healthy, I’m gonna go to the gym for 2 hours everyday; I’m not gonna eat any junk food; I’m not gonna get angry when I’m driving; I’m gonna be more patient; I’m gonna get up at 4 a.m. and pray for 3 hours; I’m gonna lose weight; I’m gonna be faithful in my finances; I’m gonna be generous; I’m not gonna yell at my kids, I’m not gonna be critical of my husband. All of these are fine resolutions; but time after time; and year after year; we fail. I think we make it to complicated. What if we just said “I’m going to follow the path of Christ.” What do you think would happen? I believe that all these other things will fall into place. They will be the result of seeking Him first.
Matthew 6:33 says Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these other things; will be given to you as well.