Every four years since 2000 there is a story that comes into my vision. It is the story of Eric "the Eel" Moussambani. Here is a section of the Wikipedia page for him:
Moussambani gained entry to the Olympics without meeting the minimum qualification requirements via a wildcard draw designed to encourage participation by developing countries lacking full training facilities. While Pieter van den Hoogenband won in a time of 48.30 seconds (setting a world record of 47.84 in the semi-finals), Moussambani took more than twice that time to finish (1:52.72). "The last 15 meters were very difficult", Moussambani said. Because the other two swimmers in his heat made false starts, and were thus disqualified, he won the heat unopposed. Before coming to the Olympics, Moussambani had never seen a 50 m (160 ft) long Olympic-size swimming pool. He took up swimming eight months before the Olympics and had practiced in a lake, and later a 12-metre swimming pool in a hotel in Malabo.
Here is a video for your enjoyment:
When you watch the entire video you hear (at around the 7:30 mark), Moussambani express part of his understanding of the Olympics, "It is not just competition it is participation."
For many in the Christian tradition, the way of Jesus is a competition. It is a matter of winning. It is about getting the crown and the heavenly prize. It is about running the race to win. It is about trying to convince that your views are correct and others are incorrect. It is about counting how many people you brought to Christ as though evangelism is like a medal count.
Eric Moussambani reminds us all that life and I would argue Christianity is less about competition and more about participation. Are we participating the game God has give to us? Are we joyful and filled with excitement to participate? Do we play the game so that others would want to play? Do we we have a heart for participation more than we have desire to win?