St John Lutheran Church Dickinson, ND

             
OLYMPIC DEVOTION
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~ Joe Natwick, Associate Pastor

 

The Olympics giveth and the Olympics taketh away. For two solid weeks my eyes were glued to the television as I sat in awe of Olympians who have trained their whole lives for this moment. I love the Olympics. Not because of our country’s dominance (although that certainly helps) but because where else do you get to see people compete in sports like water polo, field hockey, and fencing? The Olympics are packed with all these obscure events - sports I nearly forget exist every four years. But the people competing never forget. They work tirelessly with singular and steadfast devotion, sacrificing so much for a glimpse of glory.

 

I am not much of an athlete myself. In 8th gradeI tried pole vaulting. My efforts were abysmal.

I never even came close to getting over the bar.I would run, shove my pole in the ground, get a very large bend in the pole, and then the pole would just sort of flick me to the side. By the end of the year I mostly just avoided the event alltogether until I finally quit. By college I regretted missing out on sports so much so that I joined another Olympic sport: rowing. That year was a mix of success and pain. Although I remember it fondly now, it was excruciatingly difficult. And at the end of my first season I quit sports again, this time for good. It was clear that I would never have what it takes to be an Olympian.

 

I wonder if the reason so many of us love watching the Olympics is because we are drawn to something so few of us really have: this singular focus and steadfast devotion to one thing. Our devotion to things seem to come and go constantly in our lives. Even our devotion to God seems to change over time. One day we are praying and reading the Bible fervently and the next we struggle to feel connected in worship.  

 

But here is the really good news. Even when our devotion to God seems to wax and wane over time, God’s devotion for us remains steadfast and faithful.  Even when God’s people messed up throughout the Bible, God’s steadfast love and singular focus for them was always present. And there is nothing they could ever do to jeopardize this love.

 

So many people experience faith and spirituality like a roller coaster. Some weeks we feel like our spirit and soul are thriving, yet some weeks we feel nothing at all. When we put the focus of our faith on our own feelings, we set ourselves up for disappointment. We become ashamed of our wavering devotion to God.  So rather than focus on how we feel about God, maybe we should consider how God feels about us. Because God’s love for us is steadfast and faithful. God is devoted to us whether we feel it or not. God is devoted to us whether we are riding a spiritual high or in the darkest pit of our lives. God’s love never ever quits.

 


WORSHIP TIMES
September - May
Sundays 8:00 & 10:30 am
Wednesdays 6:30 pm (Camp-style service)
Thursdays 7:00 pm

June - August
Sundays 8:00 am & 9:30 am
Thursdays 7:00 pm
CONTACT INFO
St John Lutheran Church
146 6th AVE W
Dickinson, ND 58601

Phone: (701) 225-6747
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