She stands on the thin, white carpet, anxiously waiting to salute the judges and begin a routine she has undoubtedly practiced well over a thousand times. She seems stiff, a fleshly statue under an enormous amount of stress and I find myself hoping she won’t crumble right there in front of millions of viewers. Finally, her hand raises and she assumes her starting position. And as she runs and flips and lands just so … I am reminded of the times I donned my own leotard at just eight or nine years of age. I, too, was racked with nerves as the judges took their time giving the signal to proceed with my tumbling and I can’t help but see a bit of my own reflection in the 2012 Olympic gymnast, a bit of my own fear of failing peers, parents, spouse, country … God.
It’s a lot of pressure …
Being a gymnast and a Christian are a lot alike. They’re high callings that require practice and skill and precision and in all honesty … perfection. And when we step out of the boundaries and miss our mark, we do what’s required and we smile and salute the judge and wave to the crowd. But on the inside, we’re embarrassed and our pride is hurt and we’re mad that we put so much work into something only to trip up in front of the judge and countless spectators.
No pun intended, but think outside the lines with me for a moment. What if the Olympic judge, no matter what the performance truly looked like, saw that gymnast as …
Error free …
And what if our Judge, no matter what our performances truly look like, saw only a sinless, complete, perfect child whom He loves with an everlasting love?
I promise my imagination hasn’t run wild … the Christian’s Judge really does see her performances as all of those things, as evidenced in Colossians 2:10, where it says you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. In other words … completely flawless in the sight of the king of Kings.
Is it because because we are perfect?
Of course not.
But since Jesus took our place and “performed” what needed to be done, our Judge is able (and oh so willing!) to look at us and only see Jesus’ perfection in place of our flub ups.
It’s a mind boggling promise that relieves a lot of performance pressure …
The Olympic gymnast will never be able to step outside of the lines without a penalty. Her judge will always be on the lookout for the tiniest flaw, the slightest wobble, ready and willing to subtract a tenth of a point. But the Christian could fall off the beam a thousand times and the score card would still read 10. Yes, the spectators will always see the fall, but at that point, the Christian has a choice …
Either look at the spectators … or look at the Judge. Either be susceptible to the approval of man, or accept the promise that you are a 10 in His eyes, with the knowledge that even if you did perform perfectly … all your righteousness is as filthy rags and there’s nothing … not one thing … you could do to win His approval.
Summer 2012 has been somewhat of a training ground for me. In all of my practicing and performing, I’ve reached a point of emotional and physical exhaustion because somehow … long, long ago, I began trying win approval.
So I’m calling time out. And I’m resting. Spiritually resting in the blessing of being complete in Him … of not lacking anything. Because no matter what happens out on the performance mat, and no matter what any spectator may think or wish upon me … I am, in the eyes of my Heavenly Father …
A perfect 10.
Bravo Brenda! I’ve been caught up in the approval game, too. It’s exhausting. Aren’t you glad when we fall off that beam, our Judge is right there to catch us? Rest up and press on with no pressure, girlfriend. I’ll meet you at the finish line.
I’ll look for you there, girlfriend!!!
I’m looking for a way to tweet this blog and I can’t find one. And you fix it so we can do that, or let us know an easy way to do it?
Ginny, the “Tweet” button is just above the picture of the gymnast. Thanks for taking the time to share. 🙂
Love it, I am so glad I have a judge who see Jesus when He looks at me! I forget sometimes and all I can see are the spectators…I fall flat everytime I do that! Great post!
Thanks, Lori. So much to be thankful for, right in the person of Jesus Christ.
My comment didn’t show, anyway I really liked this post!
I see it! 🙂