No Other God

For much of my life, I bowed at the feet of gods fashioned of gold, silver and bronze. My sole focus was to become an Olympic champion. 


“You must not have any other god but me.” – Exodus 20:3


For much of my life, I bowed at the feet of gods fashioned of gold, silver and bronze.

My sole focus was to become an Olympic champion. I was going to win, and I would revel in the fame and the celebrity it brought.

In 2004, I qualified for the Beijing Olympics. It was a dream come true.

Except it was more of a nightmare. It nearly ruined my life.

My synchronized diving partner and I failed to make the podium early in the Beijing Olympics, and that was a reality check. I decided to invest everything in my individual event a few days later.

My poor results from a few days prior, hurt even more when I finished in a disappointing 10th place in the individual event. I felt as though I’d let down my team, my parents, and everyone who had invested in me. I felt like a complete and utter failure.

That’s what happens when your god betrays you. The Olympics – and my poor performances there – didn’t supply me with any joy or provide the happiness I thought they were going to bring.

I decided to get a fresh start at Purdue.

Being an Olympian on campus temporarily gave me the fame and glory I craved from those around me, but that satisfaction was fleeting and my life continued to feel so empty.

I went to my coach looking for a quick fix. Instead, he gave me Jesus.

Over the weeks ahead, I began learning more about the Bible, about Christ and who He was. That’s when my life totally transformed. I realized that God had given me this ability and platform for a specific reason: to bring Him glory.

In 2012, I once again made the Olympic team. This time, I went to London desperately seeking to honor the Lord. It was there that my faith-filled performance earned me the Olympic Gold Medal in the 10 meter platform diving competition.

I tell my story not to say that God will automatically give us what we want if we make Him the priority. I tell it instead to explain that God is a gracious, loving Father who lavishes His love and blessings upon His people. When I was desperately chasing everything other than God, He loved and pursued me anyway.

Now He has given my life a new meaning and purpose, and a heart that wants to know Him and make Him known. The platform God’s given me to do that from is diving. And it’s from there that I share with others that He alone is the One who is mighty to save.

  • What are the “gods” you are putting first in your life before God?
  • How can you ask God to completely satisfy your heart?
  • List three ways you can give your all for His glory.
  • Psalm 115:1

  • Jeremiah 10:10-12

  • 2 Corinthians 3:18


Lord, how easily I fashion my own gods and turn away from You. My ways betray me, my desires turn to emptiness that never fills me. Remind me that You are God alone, and are mighty to save. Help me to rest in You, to let You transform me so I find my satisfaction in You and only You. Amen.