Golden Goggles

What a difference perspective makes.

One Olympian is devastated to receive a silver medal while another makes history with a bronze. One Olympian rejoices like the greatest victor making it to third place while another Olympian totes a sour demeanor as a second place finalist.

Throughout the Olympics I’ve noticed a recurring theme transcending every event. There are athletes only happy with a gold medal, and there are athletes who would be happy with any medal at all. There are countries who have never received medals in certain events and others who are expected to receive gold in every event. For me, the layperson at home, I marvel at the attitudes of some receiving silver or bronze medals. One athlete even sobbed uncontrollably at their disappointment receiving a silver medal.

If there was an event for coffee drinking I might have a chance at Olympic gold, otherwise my days will be spent in the mediocrity of mundane every-day living while the “real” champs make millions in endorsements.  I’d like to think if I was talented in a given sport, was honored enough to make it to the biggest forum the world has ever known, and took away a silver or bronze medal-beating dozens of other world-class athletes-that I’d be thrilled beyond comprehension. I’ve seen that response in a few athletes, but the overwhelming take-away from many post-event interviews is that anything less than gold is trash.

And what does this message teach? If you work hard, sacrifice much and come in second place you’re a worthless piece of garbage? What a shame. I’ve seen interviews where athletes are practically defending their silver/bronze medals to a broadcaster determined to squeeze out a dramatic interview. “Oh, you must be so disappointed you didn’t get gold.” One athlete responded to this statement (loosely paraphrased)”I’m at the Olympics and I’m on the medal stand-I think that’s good enough.” Bravo.

And how often does this type of thinking play out in every-day life? We have big goals, big dreams, and great ambitions-and then we fall short. We feel there is only one outcome that will work, and when that outcome isn’t realized we are sobbing in second place. Our golden-goggles blur our vision of greatness.

Could it be that maybe, just maybe, our less-than-grandeur finish was what God had planned for us all along? That perhaps our un-notoriety was the greatness God destined us for? Isn’t His plan the best plan, and His outcome the best result?

There’s nothing wrong with high aspirations, but we must remember our plans are not always His plans. When we’ve done our best and come up short of what we expected, we have to trust His purposes. That place of trust is the only place that soothes lost dreams and dashed hopes.

“Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

If I commit every action to the glory of God, the outcome will be a success in God’s eyes, though not necessarily in man’s eyes. I want to wear the golden goggles of God’s success. I want to be okay with His outcome. I want to have His perspective.  What color goggles do you have on today?

“We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:1-3

12 thoughts on “Golden Goggles

  1. This is soooo right on, Rebecca! We are most successful when we are walking in obedience with the Lord, whether anyone notices or give us accolades. Our treasures and rewards are waiting for us when we relocate from this temporary dwelling to our permanent home in Heaven. Until then, the greatest success we can have is to complete the task He calls us to do.~Jan

    • Jan, sounds like our conversation earlier. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my website. You’ve already encouraged me more than you know!

  2. I think one of my favorite Olympic moments was when the Australian girl won the gold medal in the 100M hurdles. They had to wait a minute for the results, as it was so close. Her reaction, at the revelation of the results, was priceless. My wife and I were both in tears. And I felt that the reaction of BOTH Americans who won silver and bronze was very classy. The Bronze winner, in fact, was just as excited as the gold winner. It was great fun.

    “Success” in God’s eyes is certainly not always the same as “success” in men’s eyes.

    • Yes! I loved the attitudes of those women. There have been many tear-jerking moments during these olympics and I’ve done my fair share of crying. There have been great shows of sportsmanship and some not so great shows of sportsmanship. There’s been pouting and praising. Its been quite a show! Lots of lessons to learn.


    “That perhaps our un-notoriety was the greatness God destined us for?” That is exactly right!

    I did a concert once in the basement of a church for a group of single moms — seven, to be exact. Not exactly a sold-out show. But as I was walking across the parking lot, the Lord stopped me in my tracks and said, “Listen up!” So I did, and He then said, “This is the big time. In my Kingdom, THIS concert is the height of success. You could fill an arena, and by the way I measure things, it would pale in comparison to what you are doing with these front-line warriors today.” Kinda changed the way I looked at everything from then on out.

    • Wow, what a great story! I love those “God moments”. I struggle with this issue sometimes, especially with writing, but like you said its not the people here noticing that matters. As long as God is directing, we are to be following!

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