I have an admission to make.
I’m really bowled over with Usain Bolt.
I don’t know if it’s because it hearkens back to my dismal track days in high school, or is it really just the black on black affinity that definitely never meshed with Michael Phelps or even with Cullen Jones. Whatever the case may be, he’s incredible to watch and there’s a mystic quality to him. Which is probably why folks are hatin’ on him.
But, as I was watching a rerun clip from his 100-meter sprint that clearly solidified him as the fastest man in the world, I realised there was a lesson in his race.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
That’s the opening verses of Hebrews chapter 12 from the New King James Version and I just wondered in the midst of the Olympics just how many preachers over the past few weeks have been preaching from this passage. I’ve heard countless sermons from preachers who always spoke of their glory days running track and they always paint this marvelous picture much of a track with a great crowd much like we’ve seen during this 29th Olympiad and then go from there to make their God claim.
However, I do believe Bolt fits better into the mold of Joshua 6 as the Israelites were instructed by Joshua to shout after walking around the city seven times. Well, officially, they hadn’t won anything yet. The city of Jericho hadn’t been conquered. They hadn’t won the battle yet. But the instruction was to shout right now, technically while the battle was still being fought.
I believe God revealed a parallel example in Usain Bolt. Usain already knew that he had the victory–in fact it was a fixed fight. He was 6’5″, had legs for days and he knew it. I guess I just missed the memo that you were supposed to make your competitors feel good after you just whooped they butt!
Bolt understood what it meant to not wait until the battle was over, but to shout right now!