We Didn’t Choose to Go for the Gold

Once a month I write a letter to the wonderful Prayer for Prodigals community I am part of.  Often those letters, though specific to those who love a prodigal, apply to any or all of us in the challenging circumstances of life. 

Dear Lover of Prodigals,

Did you love the Olympics?  The amazing skill and ability of the snowboarders!  The beauty of the skaters!  The speed of the bobsledders!  The intensity of the hockey players!  The courage of the downhill skiers!  The overwhelming teamwork of the Dutch speed skaters. The endurance of the cross country skiers!  I could go on.

How did they get there?  It took years!  Learning, practicing, competing, succeeding, failing, getting up to do it again. The beauty and precision of the figure skaters and ice dancers.  Every move perfect—or a deduction.

The risks of the snowboarders—how many times did they fall learning those 1080’s and 1440’s.

The never-give-up perseverance of the Jamaican bobsled team.

Talk about focus—the Dutch almost swept the speed skating.  The only medals they have won are in speed skating.

Those hockey games: Hard fought.  So close.  Overtime.  Time after time a tenacious battle.

Watching the downhill skiers took my breath away—how do you cut those corners on that steep, icy slope with every hundredth of a second mattering.

And almost every cross country skier collapsed at the end of the race.  I can’t comprehend such endurance.Or maybe I can.  And so can you.

We know a thing or two about endurance, about taking risks, about failing and getting back up, about deep disappointment and dashed hope, about the joy and victory of breakthrough and success.  We know about never giving up.

They practice and play and perform to make the podium, to win bronze or silver or gold.

We plead and pray and persist—to restore a child, to reclaim a loved one, to redeem a life.

Surely we—you and I—deserve a medal—gold for sure.

Of course, we didn’t sign up for this course.  We didn’t desire to be in this race.  But it is “the race marked out” for each of us. It’s a distance event, a character-growing  challenge. (Hebrews 12:1)

Yet our God is with us, beside us, before us, behind us—within us, every step of the way.  He gives strength and wisdom and courage and tenacity and mercy and hope and love and grace.

And at the end, more than a gold medal.  He gives a crown of life to those who endure. (James1:12) Persevering together,


What about you?  What is your endurance race?

c2014 Judy Douglass

If you would be interested in requesting prayer for a prodigal loved one, or being a part of our wonderful praying community, respond in comments or write to me at PrayerforProdigals at gmaildotcom.