By Sergio Fortes
Were you one of the millions of people around the world who attended the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, held in 2021? Along with the Winter Olympics, this globally televised event showcases the ups and downs of competition as men and women seek honor for themselves and their respective nations.
More than 11,000 athletes from 204 countries participated in the “2020 Summer Games”, delayed until this year due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the one-year hiatus, all with one goal: these athletes went through grueling training and rigorous diets, refraining from any distractions that would prevent them from winning gold. The bronze or even silver medal was not enough.
In their opinion, any sacrifice is worth it. A top athlete, whose hope was to finish the Olympics with at least six medals, suffered a sudden emotional crisis. The athlete will later say: âLife is not just about gymnastics. We are not just athletes. We are people, and sometimes it is necessary to take a step back. Most of us find it hard to imagine the demands of the Olympic âgold rushâ.
Many of us, however, have encountered something similar in other activities of life. In today’s highly competitive market environment, as well as in everyday life on its many fronts, the âgold rushâ remains constant and unbridled. A common but harsh expression describes this reality: “the mad rush”.
Young entrepreneurs are dedicated to making money, getting rich, even millionaires if possible. Mature executives and expert professionals are on an equal footing. They are not satisfied with little. They want everything they can acquire and achieve – and quickly. They experience many types of stress and pressure, making everything else secondary: family; health; social relationships, even leisure. Only gold – and a lot – matters.
We find a very different perspective in the Bible, addressing the futility of striving for what will ultimately be lost. King Solomon of ancient Israel, said to be the richest man of all time, commented: âWhen I saw all that my hands had done, and the work I had worked so hard for, I understood that it was all an illusion! It was like chasing the wind! (Ecclesiastes 2:11).
Jesus Christ, telling the story of a diligent and enthusiastic agro-entrepreneur celebrating a record harvest, gave this warning: “Fool, tonight they will requisition your soul, and to whom will these things you have prepared?” (Luke 12:20).
I was encouraged to see many entrepreneurs and professionals resist a lifestyle that values ââonly material, financial and socio-economic success. Having observed the generations that came before them, especially the so-called âbaby boomersâ, the new generations have other steps to succeed.
How much is a harmonious family, healthy family and social relationships, peace of mind and an impeccable good reputation? As Jesus told his disciples, âLife is more than food, and the body is more than clothingâ (Luke 12:23).
What kind of “gold” ruins your sleep today, takes you away from your family, takes up so many hours of the day that you don’t even have time for a healthy meal or a date to occupy yourself? of your physical health? Jesus issued this serious warning: “What is the advantage of someone winning the whole world and losing their soul?” What can compare to the worth of his soul? (Matthew 16:26).
Jesus told anyone who wanted to hear him what âreal goldâ is: âBut seek the kingdom of God first, and all other things will be added to youâ (Luke 12:31).
Until next week!
Sergio Fortes is a mentor and consultant in logistics and strategic corporate affairs. As a member of the CBMC in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, he coordinated the revision and translation of âMonday’s Mannaâ into Portuguese for over 20 years. He remains attached to the Lord Jesus in his mission to make disciples.
Â© MONDAY MANNA is a weekly issue of CBMC INTERNATIONAL, a nonprofit evangelical ministry that exists to serve businesses and professionals as disciples of Jesus; present Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to businessmen and professionals. Â© 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED TO CBMC