With just barely a month to go, Olympics certainly is in the air. But these past few days I’ve seen quite a few Olympians started loosing their cool. Rafael Nadal lost a shocking five-setter to an unknown qualifier in the second round of Wimbledon. Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, two of the brightest stars in Beijing four years ago, tasted second place finishes via upsets by their fellow countrymen in their respective nation’s Olympic Trials. But we all know these guys will burn the competition wide open when the Games begin. But my greatest shock was seeing Bryan Clay – the decathlon gold medalist – literally crashes out of the US Track Trials and his. I loved his life Cinderalla-like success. I even wrote an article about him for my school paper in my senior year.
It’s funny reading my past articles because I was likem, “Did I wrote this? Man, it’s good.” And I realized how much my writing style have changed in the course of four years.
The World’s Greatest Athlete
September 13, 2008
The Beijing Olympics was already over yet the debate of crowning who is now the current world’s greatest athlete continues. The recent Olympiad had produced a lot of remarkable and unforgettable performances by some of the best athletes in the world. There is of course American swimmer Michael Phelps who competed in 8 swimming events and won an unprecedented 8 gold medal. On the process he set 7 new world records in swimming (and a $100 million dollar endorsement), dubbed as “the Great Haul of China.” Then came also the flamboyant Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt who is now the undisputed fastest man in the world after he won the gold medals on 100m, 200m and 4×100 relay, setting new worlds record in each event. But if you ask me who is my world’s greatest athlete is, my answer would not be either of the two. Mine is American decathlete Bryan Clay.
Every sports requires at least one or two skills to win, Bryan Clay needed ten to take home the gold medal. In the world of Olympics, ever since the ancient times, whoever wins the decathlon has the right to be recognized as the Greatest Athlete of the World. This demanding track and field contest lets the athletes compete in 10 different events (deca means 10). But Bryan winning the event is not my only reason why I consider him the greatest. It is his life and faith in God that made me believe.
Growing up in Honolulu, Bryan’s childhood was turbulent. His parents fought often and divorced when he was still in his fifth grade. Bryan’s difficult childhood showed in his behavior. Fights and suspensions were his norm in school. He got in trouble often as drugs, drinking, and vandalism stained his teen years, a rough start for a champion.
Finally, through the influence of his future wife, Sarah, and his friends he saw his need for Christ love and forgiveness. Christian life turned his life around, and so did the decathlon. He enrolled at Azusa Pacific University in California and trained and played for the athletics varsity. There he rose to glory and to the ranks of the best in the world. The rest were history. Despite of his skills, personal glory doesn’t motivate him. Instead, he believes his career is an instrument for divine purposes.
Bryan Clay’s life is just one of the many examples of God’s power and the great gift of human talents. God enjoys watching us using the talents and abilities He has given, just like a parent sees his child. He wants us to use them to give joy and glory to Him, just like what Bryan did in Beijing. Studies revealed that an ordinary person possesses up to 700 different skills and talents – far more than you ever realized. There’s really no ground for us to make excuses that we just don’t have the talents to offer in order to serve God. C’mon we can’t bring glory to Him if we are hiding all those abilities. For every occasion we reject any part of our gifts we are also rejecting God’s wisdom in creating us.
Every talent must be used for God’s purpose and glory. He has designed to give you the abilities where we can shine and make a difference. Michael Phelps can swim very fast, Usain Bolt can run fast also and Kobe Bryant can play very good basketball. We, too, have our God given abilities like them, only at a different level. God made some of us to be athletic, and some to be artistic. You can be gifted in singing or teaching or preaching. There are still thousands of talents out there to be discovered. It’s just up to us to find them.
We can start at this very moment in finding out what God intends for you to do. Begin by your talent,. Reflect and look honestly at the aspect of your life where you’re good at. Estimate your capabilities whether they are weak that need to be enhanced or strong that you can be proud of. Like beauty, talents are also in the eyes of the beholder. As what Rick Warren wrote in his book The Purpose Driven Life, “Spiritual gifts and natural abilities are always confirmed by other.If you want to know if you have the gift of leadership, just look back over your shoulder! If no one is following you, you’re not a good leader.”
That is why it really pays off to ask to ask other people for their opinions. Just make sure you tell them that you are seeking for the truth, not compliments.
There’s always a place for our talents. Just look around and see that there are a lot of places where we can shine and make a positive difference. It can be on the Church, in the school or at your local community. Again it’s really up to us to find these places. If you are good in writing or drawing you can always join our school publication and become a writer or cartoonist like me. If you have the gift of singing you may join the Church choir or participate in any singing competitions. If you think you’re really good at dancing join a group where you can express that talent for good. There are thousands of abilities to make life with and there are places where you can use them. But we have to remember that whatever we do use it for the glory of God.
At the end of the day, God doesn’t waste talents because there is always a purpose for everything. We have to remember that the only person who can use our abilities is ourselves. Even the Bryan Clay, the world’s greatest athlete (for me) said, “I’ve a accomplished a lot already and I want to do the best I can so God can use.”
Now, what are your talents?
– The End –
Failed London Olympics Bid: Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay won’t defend his title in London after he stumbled in the 110-meter hurdles at the U.S. track trials Saturday.
Clay was initially disqualified after missing the final hurdle. While his points for the event were reinstated under appeal, he struggled later in the discus and finished out of the running for a spot on the Olympic team. – AP