Olympic Parenting

 In watching the Olympics I have so enjoyed seeing the parent interviews and their reactions in the stands as they watch their stellar children’s performances. Their faces reflect the whole gambit of emotions, from excitement and anticipation to agony and pain then back to joy and elation.

It brought back to mind Derek Raymond’s performance in the 1992 Olympics where he was favored to medal in the men’s 400 meter sprint. At 150 meters into the race, he unexpectedly collapsed in a heap on the track with what was later discovered to be a torn hamstring. The race was over. Nevertheless, picking himself back up, he determined to finish it for himself and began hobbling his way down the track. Suddenly his father, having pushed aside security guards, made his way onto the track, and came alongside his son. Putting his arms around Derek and supporting him, they made it the rest of the way… together.

What a picture of our roles as parents. We are to equip, nourish, and nurture our children, giving them dreams to dream of what possibilities God has in store. We are to share their joys and sorrows. But more than that, we are to come alongside, sharing their burdens, lifting them up and encouraging them.

When life’s sometimes crushing disappointments and disasters come crashing down, we also have One who is not just a distant observer or critic, maybe cheering us on from afar, but One who comes down alongside us, raises us up and carries us across the finish line.

When we offer the same to our children… it is gold.

-Beverly Elliott

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