Olympian Effort: The Race or the Finish?

abbottTeam USA hasn’t won a gold medal in women’s Olympic cycling since 1984, but fans thought Mara Abbott was going to end that drought.   With a 40 second lead on Sunday, Abbott was positioned to win the gold.

With 200 meters left in the race, Abbott thought her dreams were about to become reality, but the last 150 meters along scenic Copacabana Beach became a nightmare. Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands, Sweden’s Emma Johansson and Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini had been chasing Abbott for most of the race, and the three of them passed the race-weary Abbott.

When bicyclists think of this race, will they remember Abbott for her effort or for her 4th place finish?

Fortunately, finishing in 1st place is not a prerequisite to pleasing God. In his letter to Timothy, Paul said: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing (I Timothy 4:7-8).

I applaud the effort, discipline, and dedication of Mara Abbott and Team USA; and, I cheer for you as you fight the good fight.

The Ugly Side of Humanity

Most every one of us know a little something about Abraham Lincoln.  We know he was our 16th president; he was assassinated; and, he opposed slavery.

A person who you may not know as much about is William Wilberforce.  This British politician was every bit as dedicated to eliminating slavery as was Lincoln.

People generally associate the end of slavery with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that he issued on January 1, 1863.  The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

While that form of slavery has ended within the territories of the United States, another form of this evil, sex trafficking,  has reared its ugly head.   The following quote will shed some light on this dark and ugly side of humanity:  Regardless of nationality, victims are systematically stripped of their identity, battered into gruesome submission and made to perform humiliating sexual acts with up to 40 strangers every night.  Held against their will, most are forced to take illegal drugs and are kept under constant surveillance.  On average, victims are thrown into such ghastly oppression at age 13 (Benjamin Nolot, Nefarious).

Let me share a few statistics with you:

  • There are 27 million enslaved people around the world.
  • Human trafficking is a 32 billion dollar a year industry
  • 80% of the trafficking victims are women and children who have been forced into the commercial sex trade
  • In the United States, the average age of entry into commercial sex slavery is 13.

It is one thing to be ignorant of this atrocity and do nothing.  It is something altogether different to have knowledge of this form of exploitation and then do nothing.

Now that you know, what will you do?  I encourage you to read what Sweden and Israel are doing to address this horrible crime against humanity (click here).  After reading the article, please contact your legislator and ask him to support any legislation that is similar to that which has been enacted in Sweden and Israel.

Get your feet off the floor because I am about to step on them.  Any time any one watches any form of pornography, that person is supporting and helping to fund this ugly side of humanity.

Here is a thought to keep you thinking.  What if it your daughter or granddaughter was forced into sexual slavery?  What would you do then?