I'm a typical American. Football, baseball, basketball. Luge, bobsled, slopestyle, halfpipe - not so much. But, like millions of others, there's something about the Olympics that draws me in. To watch sports I know little about.

Because of the drama. The human drama.

The world's best on the world stage, with much of their life invested in what will be only minutes of their life. Giving it all for the glory of winning. Or the agony of losing.

I don't skate on a world stage. I won't be winning even an aluminum medal. But there are Olympic takeaways for me.

Like how to handle losing. Stinging setbacks. Bitter disappointments.

We've already been able to see some examples in the Games at Sochi.

1. Know the difference between what you do and who you are.

No one has been the face of Team USA more than snowboarder Shaun White. With two gold medals in the halfpipe, a third win would have made history.

He didn't win anything. No gold, no silver, no bronze.

But in the midst of what had to be a crushing disappointment, he had some helpful perspective. For all of us who've watched a dream slip away.

He said, "This is just one part of who I am - a big part - but I want to be more than just that."

There's all the difference in the world between, "I failed" and "I'm a failure." Yes, you may have fallen short athletically, academically or at work. Or even more significantly, in a major life relationship.

But "I've failed" doesn't mean "I'm a failure." You aren't what you do. You are your character, your God-given worth - which has nothing to do with your performance.

No setback, no broken dream can rob you of you. Unless you let it.

2. Look for the lesson and move on.

Skier Bode Miller knows the glory. A five-time Olympic medalist. But in Sochi, he finished eighth in the men's downhill.

In the midst of the disappointment, one reporter said, "He painfully dissected what went wrong." Miller said, "I think everyone wants to find the answers as to why it didn't go better."

When I've messed up, there are always lessons to learn. That can, if I'll man up to the responsibility, keep me from messing up again.

Learn the lesson. Don't dwell on the failure. One women's cross country star, who was expected to medal for the USA, said this after finishing as an also-ran: "So I'm just going to put today in a box and move on to the next one."

3. Look where you're going, not where you've been.

Erin Hamlin just became the first American to win an Olympic medal in singles luge.

She was a favorite to do that in Vancouver in 2010. She was out of medal contention after the first heat.

This week she said, "I was really disappointed, and I knew that's not how I wanted to end my Olympic legacy. It was super-motivating."

I like that. Dwelling on the past is futile. It can't be changed. But the future is yet to be written.

It's been a big deal whenever one of our grandchildren got to 20 pounds. Because that's when you get to turn your car seat around! No more looking at where you've already been. From now on, it's all eyes on where I'm going!

Great way to live.

Great way to be a "comeback kid."




Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)


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