Thursday, August 14, 2008

To the nth Degree

I have been watching the Olympics for the last 6 days, and it's so very exciting. Watching Michael Phelps make history, watching the American men's gymnastics team defy probability and win a team medal. But with the thrill of victory has also come the agony of defeat. The brokenness on the face of the American women's gymnastics team captain after she fumbled not just once, but twice to, in all probability, cost the women's team the gold medal.

I cannot imagine the effort and commitment these young athletes have made in committing their lives to compete in the Olympics. Years of training, discipline, sacrifice all to be decided whether it was worth the cost in the nth of a second. Did you see the defeat on the French men's swimming team when the lost the relay to the American men, literally, a tap behind? I mean honestly, after the way that they had pridefully declared they would "smash" the Americans, I was thrilled when we won, but what of the people in France? It was literally, "tap, tap," seconds too late.

I've seen a lot of competitors fall and it has cost them their entire dream. The young German gymnast who is the best in the world on the high bar, and this time, when it counted, he fell. After our women's gymnastics captain failed, both of her teammates tripped up to, failure and defeat were contagious.

It's honorable what these young athletes go through and commit themselves to, but I for one could not live my life that way. I've been thinking about how this is the way it was in the old covenant in the bible, a single slip was ultimate failure, perfection was demanded. Anything short of that was disastrous.

I am so grateful for the New Covenant, for the covenant of grace. I am grateful that in life, when we fail or fall in Christ, we don't stand back up as failures, our story is not complete, we arise to a new opportunity in grace. We can have the failure wiped clean, a lesson in life, but not the defining moment of it. I am grateful that Jesus came for me and He stuck the landing, made the new world record and completed the perfect routine. And I am grateful that He did it for me, that like in the Olympic gymnastic competitions, 5 compete, 4 scores counted, in the Christian life, millions competed but only One's score mattered, and through Him we ALWAYS bring home the gold.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24

No comments: