As I sat and watched the bright lights and fanfare of the Olympics Opening Ceremony, Woolworths interrupted my viewing with an advert promoting children as the champions of the future.
As a mother, the images, music and emotive language provoked me to tears and Tony asked, ‘Are you crying?’ I responded with a heartfelt, broken ‘Yes.’ Truth is, since I birthed children, the tiniest little pull on my heartstrings causes me to choke up and sob like a big baby.
I reflected on what had really caused me to cry, and after a particularly tough week parenting my youngest son, I remembered that on the inside of me, I have this overwhelming desire to see my children reach their potential. I want to be a support to them as they mature into the amazing people God has purposed them to be. I believe they are already champions.
Pictures of my Junior Swimming Champion 10 year old, and my cross-country, speed-darting 7 year old flashed before my eyes, and I wanted to be on the side cheering them, handing them the watermelon (supplied by Woolworths) and providing them with music to their ears. I already see them receiving their medals.
This is how our Heavenly Father see us. We are already champions. We do already have the medal. The Bible tells us we have been sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit. We have been given the crown of life. We have been made alive again to God our Father. We have been guaranteed a place at His banquet table, celebrating the victory our Champion Jesus has already won for us.
We are champions and yet, so often, we fall into slothful thinking that we need to train harder, do better, and become more. The truth is, nothing we can do will win the victory that has already been won. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to throw off every weight and the sin that encumbers us, and run the race ahead, knowing we have already been given the crown of life.
This knowledge that we are already champions, empowers us to lay aside sin, to lay aside bad behaviour, to lay aside wrong thinking. It empowers us to look straight ahead until we have run our race of life, knowing that when we come to its closure we will enter eternal victory to celebrate and be in joy forevermore.
The best support that I can give my children on their champion journey, is to encourage them. Firstly, in the knowledge of who they are in Christ, so they too might know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, as the Victor who has ensured a place for them at the Breakfast of Champions. Secondly, to set and work toward achievable goals, knowing their value is found in Christ, not in their behaviours. Finally, to recognise their gifts and talents and nurture them with words of life, words of sweetness, words that bring music to their ears, (Woolworths’ watermelon words).
As the last Olympic torch bearer ran up the stairs to light the cauldron, I listened to the crowd and allowed myself to be caught up in the inspiration that the flame stirs; that pinnacle moment where everyone believes they are a winner.
We, as community with one another, have that flame within us – the flame of the Holy Spirit who is ever encouraging us as champions. We, like our children, need words of encouragement. Let us follow the instruction of the writer to the Hebrews and encourage one another, remembering that we are family, a family of champions, joined and knit together.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says: ‘Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.’
See you at brekky – if not before.