Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Olympics and Resurrection

The Olympics are a big deal in our household.  Our family has been excited about the 2012 summer games in London.  We will watch what we can and record what we know we will miss so we can watch it later on.  Mikayla and Bayley get in on the fun too.  It probably doesn’t surprise any of you that they’re favorite competition is women’s gymnastics.

Here are several reasons I like watching the Olympics:
1. I am amazed at the athletic ability of the individuals: just try to do one turn on the Pommel horse or swim 100 meters (any stroke) and you’ll be amazed too!  

2. I think about the time, effort, commitment, fortitude and determination the athletes put into training for the Olympics and I am just blown away. We get to see the culmination of all of that training. For the athletes, this is their moment and we get to root them on.

3. The motivation: They are not competing for money, they are doing it to represent their country by seeing how they stack up against the best in the world.

4. It’s so much fun to root for US athletes, not just for a particular team (like the Carolina Panthers). There is a sense of pride when a US Olympian medals.  

5. The stories: I love hearing about the sacrifices a parent has made or the incredible obstacles that an individual has overcome to arrive on the Olympic stage.

One of the coolest stories in this year’s Olympics is out South Africa about a runner named Oscar Pistorius.  He was originally ban from the 2008 summer Olympics by the International Association of Athletics Federations.  He wasn’t ban because of drugs or cheating, he was ban because he’s a double amputee and runs on prosthetic legs. 

This was deemed an unfair advantage by the IAAF and he was banned from competing.  However, in May of 2008 the Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed the ruling allowing Pistorius the opportunity to compete.  He failed to make the South African Olympic team in 2008 and vowed to train hard and make the team in 2012.  He succeeded in his quest and will be competing in the individual 400 meters and the 4x400-meter relay.  Did I mention he doesn’t have legs?

Its stories like this that impress, inspire and move me.  These kinds of stories remind me that the resurrection didn’t just happen, it happens.  Yes, even in athletics I see the resurrection power at work.  Some people will claim that these individual accomplishments are simply the power of the human spirit at work.  I don’t buy it… and even if I did I would ask “who gave us that human spirit?”  I choose to believe that it’s the work of God because of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.  A man without legs competing against the top runners in the world could not happen if not for God’s involvement in our world. 

It’s not by accident that the writer of Hebrews penned these words in the first verse of chapter 12: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” 

If the Olympic Games aren’t a great example of the rewards of perseverance then I don’t know what is.  God is at work everywhere…we just have to be willing to pay attention.  I hope you will join in me in thinking about resurrection and perseverance and faithfully running the race of life as you watch the 2012 summer Olympics.

No comments: