Olympic gold medal prodigy in the 3000 meter women’s speedskating, Kirstin Holum, has put away her skates and traded them in for a nun’s habit. The opportunity to stand on a podium for a moment of glory while the Star Spangled Banner plays was replaced with the inglorious and hidden role of working with underprivileged and troubled youth in the gang infested neighborhoods of the Bronx and now in Leeds, England. What makes a person give up potential Olympic gold and glory for a largely unknown labor?
A sports news article reported how after “completing an art degree, including a thesis on the Olympics at the Art Institute of Chicago, Holum joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, a faith whose mission is ‘work with the poor and homeless and evangelization.'” When asked about her choice, Holum (now known as Sister Catherine) said, “It is strange for me to think that things could have been different for me and I could have been at the Olympics again, but it wasn’t the Lord’s path for me and I have no regrets.”
It appears that this Olympian is living out Moses’ heart as described in Hebrews 11:26: “he considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward”. If the Lord were to ask us to lay aside something valuable to “go for gold” in God’s kingdom would we do it or would we put Him aside and go for the temporary pleasure of earthly “gold & glory”?