I was a favorite for the 100-meter sprint at my fifth grade track meet. The crowd was exhilarating! A whopping twenty or so parents piled on the flimsy metal bleachers on the sidelines of our makeshift track.
This was my moment. I could feel it. I bolted off the line and pushed every ounce of effort through my sneakers to the pavement. I was determined to win.
I crossed the finish line uncertain of whether I was first but confident that I had a ribbon with my name on it. As my body processed the strain I had put on it, I barely discerned through my dizziness and cramps that my name had been called. I had won first place!
That blue ribbon could have just as easily been an Olympic gold medal in my young mind. I had given my all. I had made others proud. I had achieved a great goal!
With the 2014 Sochi Olympics well underway, I can't help but recall these memories as I watch every competitor cross their finish line. I don't care who is winning the medal; I am shedding tears of joy with them. This is their moment. They have poured every ounce of time, talent, and energy with the intention of realizing their greatest dream.
There is something deep inside each of us that longs to count. We want to matter to the world. We want to shine, if even for a moment. We can't help but feel called or destined for something significant.