Father, yours is the harvest and yours is the vineyard: you assign the task
and pay a wage that is just. Help us to meet this day’s responsibilities, and let nothing separate us from your love. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today I'm not feeling so well. I blame my headache and tummy upset on the heat and the terrible ozone pollution. It's been over 100 degrees for the past thirteen days. August is always the hottest and consequently longest month of the year. It's hard to concentrate on daily tasks when the mouth is dry and the body sweaty and uncomfortable. I don't know how our Lord did it walking through the desert heat without complaining! He journeyed on converting and healing despite discomfort at times.
I've been watching the Rio 2016 Olympics. The US Team is incredible this year. Best talent I've seen in years! All of the hours of practice and completion, along with natural talent, makes these young men and women all winners! It's incredible exciting to see such athleticism as well as team building. Members cheer other members on. Pats on the back, hugs, and good lucks keep the spirit alive. It also helps that millions of Americans cheer th US Olympic Team fromthe comfort of their homes.
It's easy and exciting to cheer on Team USA. However, do we ever think of promoting and cheering on Team Jesus? Do we place athletic ability above our religious faith? Do we idolize the teenage gymnasti, the X times Olympic swimming medalist, or the favorite track athlete? Would we rather be a famous Olympian on earth or an Olympian for the Holy Spirit?
Sadly, I think most people rather become a member of Team USA than Team Jesus. I mean, just think of the advertisement endorsements and financial incentives behind every won. Unfortunately, no material rewards promised upon admission into Team Jesus. However, something much better and long lasting is handed out: spiritual rewards.
As Olympians age, their bodies lose strength and speed. A younger, more talented athlete comes around to take over the number one spot. Team USA is always changing with new raw talent. Team Jesus changes too as more people, regardless of age or athletic prowess, decide that closeness to God is all that really matters. Yes, members of Team Jesus may not be the most charismatic, the best looking, the most athletic or the wealthiest. They may not even possess "talents" that our secular society believes are useful. Team Jesus doesn't follow the status quo. They shake things up. They rather reach for gold in heaven than any Bronze, Silver, or a Gold medal on earth.
I will keep cheering on Team USA and hope they earn as many medals as possible. It's awesome of witness such athletic talent. But, I feel even more joy knowing although I will never make ithe Olympic Team, I will always be a part of Team Jesus. Practice humility on earth with the goal reaching heaven someday. Now that is medal worth achieving!