Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An Olympic Lesson of Biblical Proportions

I have wanted to post all week but this week has been extremely adventurous with Baby G. (More on that later.) We finished our Olympic unit on Sunday when we watched the closing ceremony for the games. We let the kids stay up for the extinguishing of the flame. It was really a great show. I have always loved watching the Olympics and the sportsmanship among many of the athletes and watching the best in the world compete. Just to qualify to go to the Olympics is such a huge honor and I respect those athletes who trained day in and day out some since their childhood sacrificing playtime for practice to obtain their goal.

The kids studied 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 as their Bible memory verse.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”

Did you know that the Ancient Greeks had four sets of games each held every 4 years so that once a year games were held? The most popular was held in Olympia and that is where we get the Olympics. The second most popular were the Isthmian games held in Corinth. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he was using an example that they absolutely understood. The games were very much happening during the life of Paul. (We often compartmentalize our Biblical history with world history but they intertwine.) The prize for the Olympics was an olive branch wreath/crown. The prize in Corinth was a laurel branch wreath/crown. Therefore, the crown/wreath (depending on the translation) is very perishable.

We let the kids stay up to watch some of the track and field the night 2 runners were disqualified for running on the line of the other lane and one of the runners stepped in the other lane. The rules clearly state that each runner must stay in their own lane at all times. If they do not stay in their lane, they are disqualified. Even though they finished the race, they did not obtain the prize because they did not stay in their lane. Paul continues in that scripture in verses 26-27

“So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

Paul was telling us to be careful and stay in our own lane. When the kids and I were talking about this, I had drawn a track on the white board with lanes. We discussed what could cause us in life to run on the line or in the other lane. We also talked about how our lane represents our path in life. For the kids this made the verse that they were memorizing was so much more real. I thank God that He knows the bigger picture and we were able to see a living example of the verse played out.

When I was talking with the kids, I was reminded of Matthew 7:21-23. Jesus said many will call Him Lord and he will say he never knew them.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ ”

I pray that my kids know Him as they run the race of life so that they may obtain the eternal prize. Out of everything we learned while doing this unit study this by far was the most important. If they remember anything at all, I want it to be this.

Here are some pics of their Lapbooks we did for our Olympic Unit.



  1. Thanks for posting this! I've been waiting to share it! I love you.

  2. WOW! That's a great lesson on staying in your path! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great way to teach those verses in a relevant way.

    Thanks for sharing!

    All for Jesus,


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