Last night at the IAAF World Championship Track meet in Berlin, Olympic Gold Medal Winner Usain Bolt of Jamaica not only set, but smashed his way into the record books.
His time of 9.58 was .11 seconds faster than his previous best set at Beijing.
In the same race, Tyson Gay set a new American record of 9.71, a phenomenal time.
Here it was only good enough for second place.
There was a time when such an achievement would have been a cause for celebration.
But that was before Ben Johnson, so shot up with performance enhancers his eyes were bright yellow, won and then was stripped of his Olympic gold in the 100 meters.
And Marion Jones not only forfeited medals but did jail time for her involvement with banned substances.
And Barry Bonds not only expanded the home run record but also his hat size in the pursuit of greatness.
And the heir apparent to the record, Alex Rodriguez, became known as “A-Roid” instead of “A-Rod”.
The bottom line?
When someone like Usain Bolt boldly goes where no man has gone before, into the stratosphere of athletic excellence – we all wonder if he got a little “boost” to get there.
Instead of a round of applause, Usain is equally likely to be greeted with a roll of the eyes.
And that is tragic.
There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Bolt has ever taken any kind of PED (performance enhancing drug).
But because so many have.
And so many do.
There is a kind of suspicion by association tied in to any break though performance.
Maybe the reason Bolt has never tested positive is because he is clean.
Maybe the reason Bolt has never tested positive is because he has better masking agents, or is on some PED the tests aren’t designed to detect yet.
And it is that lingering doubt that casts a shadow over an amazing performance.
We’ve seen so much cheating that we are unable to embrace what Bolt has done without a cynical “We’ll see if this holds up” running through the back of our minds.
And it’s the clean athletes that end up paying the price for the transgressions of the dirty.
Have you noticed the same thing is true in our walk with God?
When we share our faith in Jesus with those on the outside looking in at God’s love, there’s a good chance we will be met with a roll of the eyes.
We might be a shining example of the power of God’s love and truth to change a life.
But there have been so many phonies.
So many hypocrites.
So many con artists that have discovered spirituality is a great starting place for a scam.
People will likely look at us and say, “We’ll see if this holds up.”
And they are right.
There is an old saying that time heals all wounds.
But time also has a funny way of wounding all heels.
The thing the spiritual scam artist fails to take into account is that God is watching.
And sometimes judgment day comes earlier than the wolves in sheeps’ clothing expect.
So what do we do if we are sincere, but suspected of being “too good to be true”?
Simply keep living your life in a daily enjoyment of God’s love and a joyful expectation that He can use you to change the lives of others.
In our slippery and cynical days, trust can’t be given.
But it certainly can be earned.
If Usain Bolt continues to sustain his nearly super human performances and holds up under the scrutiny his place in the spot light has brought to bear, good on him!
If we continue to be an example of the supernatural and sincere work of the Holy Spirit no matter who is watching, good on us!
Maybe that’s why Simon Peter wrote these words:
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. ( I Peter 2:11-12)
There are alot of phonies and pretenders out there that unfortunately make life harder for everyone who isn’t.
The best response is to make up our minds not to be another one.
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