A reporter interviewed Olympic downhill skier Lindsey Vonn after she won a gold medal yesterday. She said, “I have given up everything for this.” The comment was sort of offhand, buried in the rest of her tearful speech.
“I’ve given up everything for this.” For the sport that she loves. For the joy of competition and the chance at acclaim.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. As I kneeled in the Episcopal church, I asked myself, “what have I given up for God?” The priest smeared ashes on my forehead in the shape of a cross, saying, “Remember it is from dust that you have come, and to dust you shall return.” I am temporal. My quick, selfish pleasures are empty and meaningless.
What have I given up for God? Lindsey Vonn has given up everything for skiing. What will I give for God?
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” -Galatians 5:13-14