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Going for the Gold!

Goals | Olympics | Spiritual Goals | Gold | God | Heaven

July 28, 2020 by Carol Kurivial 

Many of us are once again glued to the tube, or some form of technology, in an effort to watch those rare and wonderful Olympic feats that awe and inspire! And would it be a stretch to assume there is hardly a soul among us who hasn’t wondered how they would stack up if given the opportunity to strive for a medal of Olympic-sized proportions? If so, what sport would you choose? How would you get started? What roadblocks would you plan to overcome? How would you stay the course on those extra difficult days? After all, it takes a lot to become a world-class Olympian. And here’s where I take a pause.


Not that I’m unimpressed with these amazing displays of athleticism, but I’m wondering how many out there have considered that our spiritual lives also require laser-focus, intentionality, confidence and the ability to set goals. After all, isn’t the main goal of a Christian to get to Heaven and to take as many others with us as possible? Talk about a big deal!! Far bigger, and with significantly longer-lasting consequences, than winning the GOLD!! To my way of thinking, if you make it to Heaven, you HAVE won the GOLD!!


So during this time spent watching the USA compete against other countries...complete with all the cries of victory and the agonies of defeat...how about setting some goals of our own ~ of the spiritual type! 


For sure, you’ll have to do exactly what Grace McCallum, Katie Ledecky, and Matthew Centrowitz Jr.  have been doing most of their lives ~ moving steadily in the direction of their dreams ~ first one goal, then another, each building upon the next...baby steps...broad shoulders...sacrifice and self-control. But the prize that awaits makes it all worth the effort. 


So, where would you like to start?


One goal worth consideration is swimming with the saints! Look at a Catholic calendar, check out Feast Days of Saints, and aim for three days a week where you read, learn and emulate that day one of the specific qualities of your chosen saint. Today I am trying to imitate Sts. Anne and Joachim, grandparents of Jesus, by trusting God for my future like that power couple did so beautifully.


Another goal might be to start each day with some Godly gymnastics! I almost always begin my day with a cocktail of spiritual nourishment. Today it included Formed, Word on Fire, Dynamic Catholic, the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Every day is a little different, but the point is to invite God into the day first thing. It gives my mind a workout, and steers my thinking in a heavenly direction. 


How about speed skating into silence for a change of pace...where the only speedy aspect is to get yourself quickly into a comfortable and quiet space before calmly turning your thoughts towards God. I like to light a candle or put a favorite picture of Jesus in front of me...anything that calms my soul and helps me to trust God for each moment. As the saying goes, “Silence is the language of God, all else is a poor translation.” (Rumi)


The goal is to connect to the Divine Presence, because chances are, the more time you spend in spiritual pursuits, the better you cope, the calmer you stay, and the more you find yourself trusting in God’s provision for...well, basically everything.

Admittedly, some days I’m totally defeated, but many other days find me in exhilarating competition for a bronze or silver moment while always striving for the gold! I love being a competitor, and although the competition between good and evil persists, I pray I never lose my zeal for finishing the race well!


If you’re interested in bringing Luminous Ministries to your Church, school, youth group, staff, or small group, you might consider our Olympic-themed retreat, “Going for the Goal”. Train hard, equip yourself for the challenge, and be intentional as you strive for unity with God! And let it be said of you the you have fought the good fight, that you finished the race, and that you have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7) Sounds like a gold-medal finisher to me!  

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