“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house”—Matthew 5:13-15(NIV).
The closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics on August 12 celebrated the achievements of the athletes and included a handover from one host city to the next. Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic Games. The closing ceremonies also featured the extinguishing of the Olympic Flame, signaling the end of the games.
A TV news reporter recently asked Olympian winners where they keep their medals. Because most were afraid of having their medals stolen, they don’t display them in a prominent place inside their homes. Instead, most winners admitted to hiding their gold, silver and bronze rewards, usually in a sock drawer.
One American runner, competing for the gold in this year’s Olympics, drew attention when he listed his coach as God on a standard drug test form after coming in second at the U.S. half-marathon championships. When asked by a testing official to name a real person, 29-year-old Ryan Hall, replied, “He is a real person.”
According to “The Christian Post,” Hall left his previous coach after he questioned Hall’s commitment to win. Because Hall felt his coach had lost faith in him, he now insists he doesn’t have one, outside of God and the inspiration of the words in the Bible.
In a “USA Today” article, Hall said, “I was sick of saying I’m a Christian but not having a desperation for God in my life. I wanted to need God. I wanted to make my faith more active in my life.”
According to his wife, Sarah Hall, turning to the Bible allows Hall’s spirituality to help his training. “The Bible is not going to tell you how to be a good runner, just like it’s not going to tell you how to build a computer. I don’t think Ryan is looking at the Bible for a formula, necessarily. There are certain things that God highlights for him that he applies to his training.”
Hall adds, “I was a runner who happened to be a Christian. I needed to become a Christian who happened to be a runner.”
Last year Hall became the fastest U.S. runner with a time of 2:04:58 at the Boston Marathon. “One step by itself doesn’t mean anything, but you put all those steps together and it’s absolutely miraculous what your body can do,” he said. “So sometimes I don’t even like to think about how fast I run…because it just seems totally impossible, but it’s just a testimony to the amazing bodies that God has given us.”
Hall currently holds the U.S. record in the half-marathon with a time of 59:43, making him the first U.S. distance runner to break the one-hour marathon barrier. Hall, however, is breaking more than running barriers. He is letting His light shine before men so that he brings glory to his coach: God.
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