The athletes had to set their goals and maintain a vigorous and focused schedule in order to achieve them. I'm sure they had to eliminate many distractions so they could stay focused. Keeping your eyes on the prize helps get through times when it would be tempting to give up.
I watch someone like Michael Phelps, who has spent years in training for this moment. The fruit of that training and skill is being seen as he is accumulating many Olympic gold medals for his swimming. What an inspiration!
Although we may not be Olympic athletes, we have each been created with our own unique gifts and abilities. You may be a teacher, a stay at home mom, a business executive or a coach. Whatever it is, are you working to the best of your ability? The Bible says in Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
One of my favorite movies of all time is Chariots of Fire. It takes place during the Paris Olympic games of 1924. Eric Liddell is a runner but he's also a missionary to China. I think the best line in the movie is when he and his sister are discussing his running. She thinks he's wasting his time and talents and that he should be back on the mission field. But Eric gently tells her that he was created to run fast and when he runs he feels God's pleasure.
Every time I hear that line, I get chills. I want to do my best in whatever I'm created and gifted to do. And I want to feel God's pleasure. How about you? Is there something you do well and when you do it, you can almost feel God's pleasure?