PAN-AM Games

Philippians 3:14 – I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is presently hosting the Pan Am/Parapan games. Many of the activities are taking place in Toronto, but some are also taking place in the surrounding cities. I have been noticing signs along the highways for the past month, some saying, "NPS", "EXC", or "OPW". Apparently, there are approximately 5,000 of these blue-and-orange signs along the highways. They are intended to help direct spectators, athletes, and officials to the venues. The organizers of the games have put together maps and made them available. They have changed traffic patterns, as well, to free up lanes for the expected influx of participants and spectators.

Even with all the information shared by the media and the 23,000-plus volunteers, a team training for the biking event ended up travelling on the Don Valley Parkway, one of Toronto's busiest highways, and they had to be escorted off. An article that I read said that the team was on a practice ride downtown when they rode onto the highway. It also stated that there were some "language issues" and the cyclists were "very apologetic and very cooperative."

Over the years that it has taken to get ready to host this, the people organizing this event recognized the preparation that would be needed. Even with all the volunteers and information provided, this bike team was still able to find themselves in the wrong place. We, too, need to recognize how easy it is for us to find ourselves in the wrong place spiritually. We must surround ourselves with people to help keep us accountable, Christians who can point us in the right direction as needed. Just as the athletes recognize the importance of surrounding themselves with support, we, as Christians, need to do the same.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for this event and for the Christians who are participating and volunteering in many capacities. Use them to show Your light to others. We pray that You will provide each of us with supportive Christians who will guide us and keep us on the right path as we press on towards our heavenly goal. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Julie Bowles