Shawn Johnson – 8 years later

I remember watching her perform in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Elisa and I watched the Olympics pretty closely that year as there were so many athletes that had such high expectations. However, on the American front, there were probably no two athletes who were being watched more closely than Johnson and Michael Phelps.

I remember thinking, more in regards to Johnson than Phelps, that there was so much talent for her being so young. I mean, she is only sixteen years old. How crazy would it be to still be in your teenage years, when most of your peers are still figuring out their hormones, and be under the national spotlight like she was.

Then, she was gone….

Not literally obviously. But, it seemed like she sort of disappeared after that. I stumbled across this article, by Lairs Johnston on Faithit a few days ago and it intrigued me enough to click and read. I have always been a fan of the I Am Second video series and decided to take seven minutes or so to watch the video as well as read the article.

Such a blessing.

Can you relate with her emotions? Have you ever felt the expectations of those around you (probably not on such a grand stage) knowing that you most likely cannot meet them? Have you ever accomplished something only to find out that it still did not meet someone else’s expectations? Have you ever felt like you were crumbling under the weight of your own (or someone else’s) expectations? Do you set marks for yourself only to find that you are not hitting them?

Have you ever just felt like you weren’t good enough?

The truth that Shawn Johnson came to is the truth that we all need to see. There will be many things that we set our sites on in life that will become an idol for us. Don’t misread what I am typing here. There is nothing wrong with goals and dreams. They will push us to win at life. They will push us to improve our own lives as well as the lives of those around us. However, they do not define who we are. Our life should never be defined by how many gold medals we can accumulate or how much money we have banked away. These goals focus on putting ourselves first. Shawn Johnson stopped putting herself first.

The truth that Shawn Johnson came to understand is that God did not create us to be first. That was never the plan. The plan was always for you and I to be second. Our lives only work perfectly when God is first.


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