In the Blink of an Eye

USP OLYMPICS: SWIMMING-EVENING SESSION S OLY BRAI used to wonder why I wondered about certain things, but I’ve decided that somewhere in my DNA I must have an inquisitive gene that is alive and well.

So, I wasn’t surprised when I noticed my curious nature thinking about the speed of a blinking eye. After a quick Google search, I learned:

  • If you are an average blinker, you will blink about every 4 seconds.
  • Each minute of the day you will blink about 15 times or roughly 20,000 times a day.
  • The surface of your eye is cleaned and lubricated,  in the 10th of a second it takes you to blink.

A 10th of a second is fast, and this fact jogged my memory: I remembered the 2016 Olympics and Anthony Ervin. At the age of 35, Ervin set a record for being the oldest individual competitor to win a gold medal in the Olympics. Ervin swam the 50M Men’s Freestyle, and he won the gold medal; France’s Florent Manaudou finished second and won the silver.

The difference that separated these two men wasn’t the 10th of a second it takes you to blink, but the hairbreadth of just 100th of a second. Ervin finished the race in 21.40 seconds and Manaudou finished it in 21.41.

Even though the critical factor that separates the winner from the runner-up can be as minuscule as 100th of a second, the minuscule can be mighty powerful.

Had Anthony Ervin succumbed to the power of a negative thought for just 100th of a second, he may have returned home with the silver medal and not the gold.

Ervin achieved his dream because he trained hard in preparation for the Olympics.  To have success in life we should do the same. This is why the Scriptures encourage us to discipline the body and to focus the mind.

Another Olympian who attained great success is Jesse Owens. At the 1936 Olympics, he won four gold medals, turning his dreams into reality. Later in life, Owens said: “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”

I encourage to keep your eyes on the prize and run life’s race with determination, dedication, and self-discipline.

The King, the Princess, and the Apostle

Michael-Phelps-won-a-staggering-eight-gold-medals-in-Beijing-in-2008-Getty-ImagesOlympian Michael Phelps, the reigning King, supported the comments of Princess Lilly King who has expressed her displeasure with Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, saying: “You’re shaking your finger ‘number one’ and you’ve been caught for drug cheating. I’m not a fan.”

Our young Princess backed-up her words by beating the twice-banned Russian in the 100 meters breaststroke final on Monday, and King Michael endorsed her comments: “I think people should be speaking out more. You know I think (Lily) is right. I think something needs to be done.”lilly

The issue that has Phelps, King, and many of their fellow athletes upset is the issue of doping. Efimova was suspended for 16-months for doping, and she had also failed a test for meldonium earlier this year.

Doping and any form of cheating to win, tarnishes the value of any medal that is won; and, I think the Apostle Paul would agree with the words of the King and the Princess.  Paul said: “Examine all things; hold fast to what is good.  Stay away from every form of evil (I Thessalonians 5: 21-22).”

The context of this verse comes from the New Testament era marketplace when people were encouraged to become approved money-changers, so they could recognize the genuine from the counterfeit.  By developing this skill, they could examine everything; keep what was genuine and good; and, toss out all counterfeits and fakes.

If doping is allowed, you might as well change the gold to brass, so kudos to Phelps and King for speaking out for the integrity of the Olympics.

The Nasty Secret of Bloodshot Eyes

article-2358570-1A9F7641000005DC-522_634x378It’s enough to make you cry!   You know what I mean . . the stinging sensation when your eyes began to burn after jumping into a swimming pool. Up to this point, you may have attributed the red eyes and stinging to chlorine in the water. I hate to be the one who breaks the news to you, but chlorine isn’t the chemical culprit:  It’s urine.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that when pool goers go in the pool, the urine binds with the chlorine and produces chloramine.  Not only is chloramine an eye irritant, it is also a derivative of ammonia that can cause respiratory problems among some swimmers.

If you find the thought of little tykes tinkling in the pool a bit disgusting, think about your stream of sins from God’s perspective.  Jesus said, “It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution (Mark 7:20-23 from The Message).”

Are the habits that define you ones of pollution or purity?  Are they mortifying to God or glorifying to Him?  I encourage you to live a life that glorifies God by clothing yourself “with a holy way of life: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).”