Thursday, February 6, 2014

Swifter, Higher, Stronger

"Find me someone who plays well,
and bring him here"
1 Samuel 16:17

It's almost time for the Olympics to start.  One of my favorite times of the every-two-years.  And I especially love the Winter Olympics.  We have attended twice ~ we went to the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, and the 2010 Games in Vancouver.  

A friend asked me the other day why I love the Olympics so much, and I'd never really thought about it before.  But I think it's because the Olympics encompass so much that's interesting and wonderful.  They are history, and geography, and world cultures, and color and pageantry and perseverance and sportsmanship and tradition. 

I love watching the Opening Ceremonies, seeing a country tell a story of themselves and what's important to them and what they are proud of.  I love seeing the Parade of Nations, admiring the outfits the athletes are wearing to represent their homelands.  I love being reminded of how many people there are in the world, and how different they are, and yet how much we all have in common, and how much the Lord loves each and every one of us. 

I love learning the ins and outs and intricacies of different sports, and finding out which ones intrigue me, or seem more complicated or esoteric than others.  I love slowly coming to an appreciation of how that spin or jump or lap was indeed swifter or higher or stronger than the others, in a sport I'm less familiar with.

Most of all, I think I love getting to know the athletes.  I love hearing their back stories, and then rooting for them, and watching them strive and persevere and sometimes win and sometimes not.  I love how some athletes work their way into our consciousness, and maybe stay there forever.  I love names like Kerri Strug and Dan Jansen and Janica Kostelic and Eric Moussambani and Derek Redmond and Jim Craig and Johann Olav Koss.... Perhaps you don't remember those names.... Perhaps you remember others.  That's the point.

Each one of us has a "back story," you know?  Events and people in our lives that serve to grow us and challenge us and inspire us.  Sometimes they are family, or dear friends.  And sometimes they are complete strangers, living out their dream in front of the world, motivating us to get off our couches and do things we never thought we could.  All inspiration comes from Him of course.  But I appreciate all the different ways He uses to inspire us!

~ "Those who live at the ends of the earth
stand in awe of Your wonders.
From where the sun rises
to where it sets,
      You inspire shouts of joy" ~
Psalm 65:8

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