August 20, 2016

Olympic-Size Gift - Joylene M. Bailey

photo by pixabay

My favourite part of the Olympic games is when the camera focuses in on the parents in the stands as they watch their child compete.  You see every emotion play across their faces.
You can almost see the years of toil and reassurance, ups and downs they have gone through as they encouraged their growing athlete.  

21 year old Canadian, Andre De Grasse, in his first Olympic games ever, has become the first Canadian to triple medal in the 100-metre, 200-metre and 4×100-metre relay at an Olympics. After he crossed the finish line to win bronze for the 100 metre sprint, I watched him search the stands for the one person who mattered – his mom. She pushed and squeezed past people to make her way to the sidelines where she could embrace him, while a commentator noted, “His mom has said, she knew he was fast from the time he was little.”

That’s the thing about parents. We see our children grow and develop. We learn where their talents lie, and then we find opportunities and experiences that will hone the talent and grow the skill, so the child can grow up and do well.

But it takes lots and lots of hard work and practice, on the part of the child, to make a skill Olympic-sized, big enough to be noticed.

When Andre De Grasse’s sprinting started getting noticed, he began getting bombarded with agents and coaches who wanted to work with him. Andre says, “A lot of people were in my ear, telling me this, telling me that. I really just wanted to listen to only one person and that was my mom.”
In the end, the agent who finally signed with him had to go through his mom, Beverley, to do so.

Meanwhile, Beverley was telling her son,
“You got talent.”
“Don’t take yourself too seriously.”
“Just go out there and do your best.”

It got me thinking about my Heavenly Father.
How he has known, from before I was born, where my skills and talents lie.
How he has put opportunities and experiences in my life to help me learn and grow in those areas.
How I need to listen to His voice only.
How he has watched me try and fail, try and succeed, practice, practice, practice, all the while cheering me on and encouraging me to keep at it.
Saying, “You got talent.”
“Go out there and do your best.”
“I delight in you.”
“You are precious in my sight.”

And I wonder, if I could see His face as I go out there and do my thing, would I see Anguish, Joy, Love, Pride?
Would it be all about winning a medal for Him?

When Beverley De Grasse was asked if she saw a world-class sprinter when she watched her son race, she said, “I just see my son, Andre, … even if he … didn’t medal, he’d still be my son. I’ll still feel the same way about him.”

No. In the moment it may seem like it’s all about winning the medal, but it’s not.
It’s about honing the craft,
practicing it,
working it,
using the amazing Olympic size gift we’ve been given, for His glory.

Because in the end, it’s not just about who you are.

It’s about Whose you are.

Joy hones, practices, and works her craft at home in Edmonton, where she will be empty nesting with her husband for one more week before Babe & her cat move back to fill up some empty spaces. 
Find her at Scraps of Joy.


  1. Amen!! thank-you for reminding us we are all in a race. But, my aren't we Canadians proud of Andre?:)!!

  2. So well said, Joy! "It's about whose you are" - Amen!

  3. Great, encouraging post-Thanks!!

  4. You've put a wonderful lens on the achievements of the olympians. Looking at it this way, we can all be world-class in our Father's eyes!

  5. Thanks for your powerful post, Joylene. Your example of how André tried to sort out the advice he was getting from so many people and focus on what his mom was telling him is apt. Yes, we can get coaching from the experts, but the voice we need to listen to about how to live our lives, that is God's voice. When we train our ears and hearts to listen to our Heavenly Father, we can change our focus. Will we hear him say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant, my son, my daughter."?

  6. LOVED this! Powerful perspective. Thanks.


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