Monday, August 18, 2008

Going for the Gold

My dear husband made me stay up way past my bedtime this week to watch Michael Phelps take the gold yet again at the Olympics.

"Honey, you're seeing history being made!" he informed me, annoyed at my yawning lack of enthusiasm.

I don't have a competitive bone in my body so the whole "wide world of sports" has always been a puzzle to me. I don't have the least bit of interest in who won the Superbowl this year or how many Trailblazers were arrested last month. Ducks and Beavers are just cute little critters to me. My eyes will glaze over if you try to talk to me about sports.

I may try to feign interest, but I just don't care.

This could stem back to the days when I was a painfully shy fifth grader, all thick glasses and chubby legs. Even though I was afraid of the ball, had NO hand/eye coordination AND was practically legally blind, my dad decided I needed to play softball.

All I will say about those dark days is this: I was the worst player on the team and he was the coach. The experience scarred me for life.

Anyway, back to the Olympics. There are certain events I enjoy watching--gymnastics, for instance. I personally think swimming is boring to watch, but it's really cool that Michael Phelps won so many medals and set new world records. What I don't like is that fact that he's become an instant superstar. Our national super hero in a speedo.

And all because he can swim really fast. I mean, in the eternal scheme of things, does that really matter? Will anyone remember his achievements ten years from now? Like Paul wrote to Timothy back before the Olympics were televised: "For bodily exercise profits a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise for this life that is now and also the life that is to come." (1 Tim. 4:8)

Have you ever noticed that God is utterly absent during the Olympic games? It's all about human achievement--what we can accomplish. Never mind that He created our incredible bodies and amazing minds! The glory of the gold dims for me when the Lord doesn't receive the credit due Him.

Don't get me wrong. I cheered when Phelp's team won the relay the other night. He worked hard and deserves his medals. But I give all glory and honor and praise to the Maker of heaven and earth-the Creator of Michael Phelp's very fine-tuned--and finite--body.

"You are the Lord, the famous One, the famous One, great is Your fame in all the earth . . ."