“If you can’t be enough without it, you will not be enough with it.”

The beauty of the Olympics, their deep appeal, is what they reveal about the human spirit, whether in the ‘thrill of victory’ or ‘the agony of defeat.’ Under every colorful uniform there’s a talented human being with a life-long story of struggles, challenges, hopes, dreams, and fierce commitment to be the best they can be. The medals of gold, silver, and bronze for which they compete are reward indeed, but they fall infinitely short of describing their accomplishments.678-1

In the movie “Cool Runnings” John Candy plays a coach of the first Olympic Jamaican bobsled team. At a moment when he sensed the allure of the gold medal eclipsing their bigger goal of accomplishing something that nearly everybody told them was impossible, he said “if you can’t be enough without it, you will not be enough with it.”

As it did with his team, his declaration implores us to ask why we run, why we compete, why we go about our lives as we do? What do we value as our prizes for hitting our goals?

Olympians have a confident understanding of their God-given talents and they devote them to the purpose of improving their lives, those of their family, and their broader community. Imagine what our lives, our community, our world could be like if each one of us understood our gifts as well, used them with committed purpose, and performed them at Olympic levels, even when we fall short of gold, silver, or bronze.