• Stefan Youngblood

Odd Olympic Sports


Not a lot of people know that the Olympics used to include sports like solo synchronized swimming, live pigeon shooting, and Tug of War. When I was younger, we would play tug of war on the playground. It seemed like each time someone would have the bright idea to tell everyone on your side to pull as hard as you could then let the rope go and watch the other team fall.

We’ve outgrown the playground but we haven’t outgrown Tug of War. There’s a tension that exists…a battle…a struggle that we probably encounter everyday. A spiritual Tug of War exists for our minds, our hearts, and even our allegiance.

Galatians 5:17 says, “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are CONSTANTLY fighting each other. I can find my life in a constant state of tension.

The good news is that this tug of war in my heart is not only normal, but it is a healthy sign that the spirit of God is at work in my heart. I find that, on this side of heaven, if either I let go of the rope, or on the other hand, the enemy lets go seeing me as no threat, then something’s wrong. The type of faith filled lives we see in the Bible got the early followers of Jesus martyred, not simply playing comfortably on the monkey bars and swing sets. I have to surrender and die to myself daily in order to give the spirit control over my flesh.

We DO have the ultimate victory in Christ. We DO have peace on our side. We are overwhelmingly conquerors through Christ who loves us. Greater is He who’s in you than He who’s in the world. All true…but stay in the battle. Don’t give up. You win.

Btw, one other odd Olympic event was underwater swimming. Contestants won by swimming the longest distance under water. One year, Peter Lykkeberg actually swam for nearly 30 seconds longer than the winner; yet he came in third, because he didn’t travel as far as the winner. In the end, he had only swam in circles.

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