Sunday, February 23, 2014

More Lessons from the Games

"Have you not asked those who travel the road?"
Job 21:29

When we went to the Olympics in Vancouver, I journaled a lot.  {I didn't have a blog back then, and all you lovely people with whom to share my thoughts and lessons :-) }

And my goal, on that trip, was to recognize ways that God was teaching me something, and then tie it in with His word ~ much as I do here.

So some of these thoughts are a few years old, while others are thoughts from the Sochi Games...


My money, when I crossed the border into Canada, was useless.  Well, maybe not useless, but most places did not want to take it.  But I could go and exchange it for Canadian money, and then that piece of paper had value for me.  That which we value so highly ~ money ~ has value only because of the government that stands behind it.  I have an old Confederate dollar, too, but it's now only worth the paper it is printed on. 

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, but treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)


My passport, something I don't ever think about when I'm at home, became the thing I guarded the most.  Not that I would have been trapped forever in Canada if I lost it, and not that that have would been such a horrible thing, but my passport gives vital information about me:  the nation to which I belong; the government that is my protector; my citizenship.

"You call yourselves citizens of the holy city, and rely on the God of Israel ~ the Lord Almighty is His name." (Isaiah 48:2)

"But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philippians 3:20)


Curling.  I know now that there are ten rounds, or ends.  In each end, there are 16 stones sent down the ice.  Of those 16, only the last 4 or 5 are going to impact the score earned in that end.  So I can't tell you what they're thinking when they push the first 11 or 12, but I start paying close attention when they get to the last few.  I don't understand all of curling, but I recognize what's happening at the end.

"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.  Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on in the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.  At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift of your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:25-28)

I saw a cross-country skier, nearing the finish line, who kept looking back over his shoulder.  And while he was looking over his left shoulder, another skier passed him on the right.

"As they were walking along the road, a man said to Jesus, 'I will follow You wherever You go, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family.'  Jesus replied, 'No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'" (Luke 9:61-62)

I also saw a cross-country skier, after 18 miles of skiing, striving and pushing and stretching out her ski, trying her hardest to beat the skier right next to her.  And these two women were battling for 23rd place. 

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)


In Vancouver, there were enormous crowds enjoying the festivities in downtown every night, and though you know there was plenty of drinking, they were always well-behaved.  But one night, a group of young men was starting to get too rowdy.  The crowd around them responded by surrounding them, and joining together to sing the Canadian national anthem.  When they were finished, the boys felt foolish, and wandered off.

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21)

My family had never been out of the country before, so when we came home from Canada, we didn't know what to expect from Customs.  We wrote down all our purchases, which pretty much consisted of t-shirts and Olympic pins, and we packed them all in one suitcase, in case someone wanted to see them.  We added up how much we spent, and we had all our receipts.  But we knew we'd be coming home late at night, and we were sort of dreading long lines and government bureaucracy.

At the airport in Canada, after the regular security line, we went through another line, where an intimidating man wearing a bullet-proof vest looked over the form we'd filled out.  He asked us a few questions about our vacation, told us to have a good flight, and sent us on our way.  I assumed we'd have to repeat the whole process when we landed in the US; that we still needed to clear Customs.  But we got off our plane, walked to the baggage claim, and the exit was just right over there.  We were free to go.  We did what we had to do before we even made the journey, and we were accepted and approved.

I'll bet you know where I'm going with this... Our destination is decided before we make the journey.

"If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)

~ "Whoever walks the road, although a fool,
shall not go astray" ~
Isaiah 35:8

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