07 July 2015

Of My Performance (and How it Doesn't Matter)

The other day, I was considering McKayla Maroney, specifically the meme that the gymnast "is not impressed." Remember this moment?

If you don't, or just don't happen to follow the Olympics, about three years ago, this adorable teenage girl gave the most amazing Gymnastic Vault performance anyone had seen. It launched her team to Olympic gold and made her a shoe-in for the next day's individual competition (well, to the viewer with no real background as to what is currently happening in today's gymnastic world - I'm sure to those who actually know who's who in that realm, she had been a shoe-in for much longer). That vault was the entire reason she was in London in the first place. She had one purpose and, for her team, she accomplished that purpose. But the next day, when it was her turn to shine on her own, one slight misstep or muscle twitch was all it took for her to land on the wrong end of those legs and send her slipping back to a silver medal.

And in one day she goes from being known around the world for one thing - her mad vault skills - to being known for something else - that disappointed scowl.

And who can blame her? She was basically a child, and, in the world of competitive sports, when it has been assumed, and known, for so long, that you are the best at what you do and something goes wrong the one day you get to prove that to the world? Disappointment is a given and it might not always be masked well, particularly when one has little experience with it.

It got me thinking, though. Because we all clearly saw her vault the day before. She was outstanding. And, by her account, she had landed that same vault on her feet every attempt for four months solid. Landing on her rear was an anomaly. An anomaly that happened on a really bad day. Thus, it's probably still understood by most watching in those days, that though the gold medal was around another neck, it did not necessarily reflect the true hierarchy of the vaulting world.

So what does an Olympic Gold Medal represent? In many cases, exactly what it's supposed to - the owner has excelled in their chosen field to be called the best in their time. But, even then, what it always says is that person was the best at what they did on that day. For that moment.

Sometimes what it means is that someone else wasn't able to show up that day. It means someone's shoelace broke or they got tripped off the line. It might mean someone else had a leg wrapped too tightly or they were too sick to perform their best. Sometimes it is a facade. Representing that one moment the bearer was better than someone else who might be able to out-perform them any other day.

Its shining status represents one fleeting moment in time.

I've seen it in my personal life - one day (about once in four years - that's all it takes for a gold medal, right?) I feel like a rockstar Mom. I feed the kids something they all like for each of the three main meals (actually, this is what a perfect day looks like in my head, which may not actually reflect anything that has ever happened in reality). I rock snack time, too. I fill our days with activities we can do together. We spend moments snuggling in sheer bliss on the couch. I kiss them all good night and mentally pat myself on the back. We did great that day!

And then I facebook about it. Because that's how I get my gold medal (hello, the world has to know!).

The next day? I wake up to poop falling out of someone's diaper, complaints about breakfast (and lunch, and dinner, and even dessert). I yell more than I should. I cry in my room. I consider myself a failure as a mom. The previous day completely wiped from memory. And, thankfully, unlike McKayla Maroney, I don't have anyone photographing me in those worst moments to broadcast for everyone. (And let's be grateful for that, because my bad attitude days are much uglier.)

But also unlike her, those bad days? The ones with a million mistakes that add up to one bad attitude on display for my family to see - an attitude that only really reflects my disappointment in myself and my failures. Those happen more often than not.

I don't get gold medal performances in practice for four months straight. I land on my rear far more often.

But this, too, is a fleeting moment.

This, too, like those moments at the top, shall pass.

And wherever I find myself today - in that shining moment in the sun, or with a scowl of disappointment threatening my countenance, I must remember - that gold medal, that winning facebook status or even that self-congratulation is not where  my worth - as a mom, a woman, a wife, a friend, comes from.

My worth - in my good days and my bad - comes from Christ alone. His victory brings me to my knees, at His feet, every day.

And my attitude, whether I performed my best or sadly faltered, should reflect my value as His daughter in every moment. Even when my world and the tiny little people in it, are crying out my failures or stripping me of the accolades I want to deserve,

"My worth is not in what I own, or in the strength of flesh and bone, but in the costly wounds of love, at the cross.

My worth is not in skill or name, in win or lose, in pride or shame, but in the blood of Chist that flowed, at the cross."

Whether at my best or sadly slipping, I remain His. And I rejoice in my Redeemer.

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