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Blog: Tom Job

A Note From Tom: August 17th, 2012

CCC Oak Ridge

Hey, everyone!

Hope you're having an awesome day and,even tho' the torch is out,  I hope the Olympic fever is still encouraging you to just "go for the gold" today! When you stand on the podium and hear…

Wait a minute.

I need to start over.

I'm not so sure that "Go for the Gold", "Be Numero Uno!", "Be the best in the world at what you do!" way of thinking is any way to have an awesome day!

It could be a really quick way to give yourself a yucky day!

I noticed this while watching the gymnastics from London.  They are so amazing, unbelievable, graceful…

Until they're not!

One of ours was going to do the "run-down-the-runway-jump-on-the-jumping-board-do-a-handspring-upsidedown-off-the-cushiony-thing-flip-a-bunch-of-times-twist-also-and-land-bam!-right-on-her-feet" event. The dude who did the commentating said that she was without a doubt the best on earth at this. Even tho' she was like fifteen, she ruled the gymnastics world in this feat.

So, here it is!

We're tense but pumped to witness this amazing moment.

She breathes…

She runs…

She jumps on the jumping board!

She's upside down on the cushiony thing!

She's flying thru the air!

She's really flipping into a blur now!

She's coming in for her landing…


And then another BAM!!


Before the watching world, she had two landings. One was kinda on her feet. The second was when she landed (with feet almost over her head) on her…I better not say the word, but it rhymes with the last word in the phrase, "Yes, dear, but…"

So, what happened?

Well, f'r one thang…

She was trying to do something really difficult and incredibly graceful in front of the watching world. And, as I said, it was. Until it wasn't!

And when it wasn't, it REALLY wasn't!

And also, the TV guy wasn't the only one saying she was the best in the world. Everyone thought the gold was already hers. It's almost like if you don't win first place…if you're the second best on earth…you're a loser!

That's pressure! It makes you want to just sit down and not try! Or in her case, go ahead and try, but sit down anyway! BAM!

We just got back from an amazing trip to Chicago with our high school and college team! They so totally rocked it!! Reaching out to men and women who are learning to walk with Jesus after a life of gangs, drugs, and prison…How our folks know how to love and serve!!

And, WOW! Did Lee bring the praise! They LOVE singing, a couple of times a year, the songs we get to sing to the Lord every week!

But I had to give one of the three ten-minute talks. They have three pastors each week give a brief talk on the same subject, a question submitted by one of the men or women being helped by the Bridge ministry. Usually, it's about the struggles of living a new life when they've only known the old one.

And for us, it can feel a little "Olympic-y"

Three pastors. Usually, they're inner-city pastors. Usually they're really preachers! And you (I!) begin to wonder how you'll do, compared to them.  Will you get some "Amen!"s and "Halleluyah!"s? What will I score on the Amen-o-meter?

And then the question is whispered in your ear…"Tonite…of you three…Who's gonna win?"

Win?! At what? Sharing the love of Jesus? This isn't a race! And as soon as you begin to think, "If anyone could win the gold medal tonite, I can"…That's when you're likely to wind up on YOUR can!

So, after I'd prepared my thoughts and gotten it down in my heart, and was almost ready to get up in front of everyone,  I remembered something I try to remember every day.

My goal isn't winning anything. My goal is simply to please the heart of my King.

I wanted to encourage those courageous men and women. I wanted to do my job well. I wanted to help them go home with joy in their hearts. But He is the only one I need to please! I don't need to win a medal! I just want to win His smile!

Every day I try to remember some simple things…
My time is today (this is the only day I need to think about)
My fight is for joy…
My strength is weakness…
My job is to serve everyone…
But my only goal is to please Him…

I love how our athletes with their gold medals watch tearfully as our star spangled anthem is played!

But when it's all over, I'd rather have a gold crown given by my Savior, instead of a gold medal given by some judge.

And I'd rather hear, "Well done!"