I admire the dedication of the marvelous athletes competing in the 2014 Olympic Games. They freely undergo the rigors of training and the sacrifices it demands with no promise of reward.
The most meaningful commercials during the games show the athletes competing now, then growing younger, always involved with their sport. The sliders began sliding in their backyards. The skaters began as tiny children on roller skates. The tag line reminds us how every big moment is preceded by many little moments. Decisions made daily, for years, directing lives toward a goal.
I turn to Evelyn Underhill for a spiritual connection. In The Spiritual Life she says we must give time and attention to our spiritual lives, “a deliberate drawing in from the circumference to the center, ‘that setting of life in order’ as St. Thomas Aquinas prayed.”
These athletes have drawn in to the center and have “set their lives in order” to pursue their goals. I am humbled by their devotion to earthly glory. How much more do I need to be passionately devoted to spiritual things? I spend too much time on the circumference of spiritual Olympic Rings, skirting the responsibilities and demands of pursuing my calling. I circle, circle, circle, but don’t “draw in.”
In a week or so, the 2014 Winter Olympics will be over. The athletes will return to their more or less “normal” lives, which for many means training for the next Winter Games. So, what exactly, will I do with my “normal” life?