Olympic Gold

This is a public service announcement. I, Renae Brumbaugh, have been chosen to serve on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. I am letting you, my dear readers, know this information in advance so you can start lining up for autographs. You may want to purchase camping gear, so you can sleep outside in the line that will surely circle our town several times over.

What’s that? You’d like to know which event I’ll compete in?

Well . . . that’s a difficult question to answer. A woman of my supreme skill and athletic talent can’t be expected to confine herself to one event, can she?

Among the events I’ve been chosen for are extended laundry cycling, extreme carpooling, and synchronized sandwich making. Hold the accolades, please. It’s an honor and a privilege to represent our country in this way.

It’s taken years of training, but it’s been worth every back-breaking, sweat-streaming moment of standing in line for school supplies at WalMart, or waiting my turn in the carpool circle. During the next four years of training, there will be many more hours of practice. After all, anything worth having is worth working for.

I hope it will all pay off in the form of Olympic gold, hanging around my neck. Then, maybe I’ll get some endorsement gigs. Free Subway sandwiches for life, maybe. Or a new car for the pool.

But even if no one ever gives me a medal, I still have no regrets. Being chosen to serve the people I love in the form of laundry, carpools and meal-making is an honor in itself. Oh, it doesn’t always feel honorable. But when I think of how different my life would be if I didn’t have those people to love and care for, it makes me sad. It’s in doing for others, not doing for myself, that makes my life full.

That’s not to say I don’t ever take time off for myself. Breaks are a necessary part of my training. But if I want to reap the rewards of service, I must remember that in my particular sport, gold comes from serving others. And the medals, which come in the forms of sweaty hugs and toothless grins and quick text messages—“I love you, Mom. Bring me food”—are worth more to me than Olympic gold.

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” Ephesians 2:10.


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