Unpack This...for Olympic Fans

Day 2 of 3 • This day’s reading


The Open Water Race

My favorite events during the Summer Olympics involve water. I grew up swimming, so I not only have great respect for swimmers who make it to the highest level of pool competitions, but also admire those participating in open water events.

Competing in the 10-kilometer open water race is extremely different from competing in the controlled environment of a pool. Marathon swimmers have to react to external conditions such as waves, wind, currents, water temperature, weather, hydration, and even fish.

Competitors battle for position against one another dodging kicks and elbows and must display a strong strategic mind to complete the rhythm of this race. Both an incredible mental and physical feat, these athletes endure challenging conditions while swimming a very long distance. 

As followers of Jesus, we get kicked, elbowed, and held back at times, but we have to stay focused and keep persevering through our trials. When we get taken off course and our circumstances get rough or sin slows us down, the Bible encourages us. 

Hebrews 12:1-2: 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne…”

Marathon swimmers must remain focused during their race and overcome all of the obstacles that attempt to slow them down. As we experience our own race each day, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus. By giving us the strength and power to overcome every weight that slows us down, He ultimately leads us to a victorious life in Him. 

I’m Bryce Johnson and you can UNPACK that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for the race You have set before me. I pray that You would give me the strength to endure when life gets challenging. Please help me to stay focused with my eyes fixed on Jesus, so I can let go of every weight that slows me down. In His name, I pray, Amen.