Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all.”
Isaiah 11:6 (NLT)
Another cold morning has set in even as the sun rises to begin to warm a bit of the rest of the day. All indications are that we can look forward to a few more freezing stretches throughout our area during the month of March. I would imagine the rest of the nation can expect a bit worse as the coldest winter in awhile lingers on.
The morning is not nearly as cold, I would expect, as the one which will begin a few hours from now as the sun lights up the skies over Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. A morning where folks there will awaken to the first day in many where the twenty-first Winter Olympics are not front and center on their radar—or television—screens. Like most all things of a temporal nature, the Winter Olympics are now simply a part of our collective memories.
Yet as Lynda and I watched the closing ceremonies to the 2010 Winter Olympics last night, we realized that there were things we saw and things we will remember from the past sixteen days that are far from temporal and fleeting. The competition was fierce, the national patriotism expectedly on display and admirable, the events were, for the most part, compelling even though at times you had to look a bit deeper to get there.
But it was the spirit of the games—displayed time-and-time again by the athletes and others—which will linger beyond the games. And for our sakes we need it to linger long-after.
They would be the last to run the course. The American four-man bobsled team would make its final of four runs to try to capture the gold medal for the first time in sixty-two years. The German team had just finished and waited anxiously at the bottom of the course—they currently stood in gold medal position should the American team slip at all. They didn’t—running the course in a four-run time of 3 minutes, 24.46 seconds, just 38/100’s of a second faster than the German team’s cumulative four-run time—and would settle for second-place and the silver medal.
The next television shot the cameras captured after that of the American four-man bobsled team finishing its winning run and jubilantly jumping out of their sled at the end of the course, was of the German team clapping and cheering their winning effort. It exemplified a spirit that permeated the games. A spirit that rose above winning and losing—to paint a picture of the very best that they and we can be.
An enlightening, uplifting and hope-filled spirit that need not end with the closing ceremony—despite no longer being in the center of our collective international attention. A spirit that reminded us that we don’t always win or get it right—and that not even the big guys get it right—as a skit from last night’s closing ceremony pointed us back to the glitch in the opening ceremonies where an arm of the Olympic torch refused to rise. It’s a spirit we need to have linger for awhile in our lives.
Perhaps it’s because too much of the world around us seems to be at war. Perhaps it’s because in too many lives around us hope is not a reality. Perhaps it’s because there is such a lack of clear, selfless and other-centered voices of calm, peace and hope calling us to the top of the mountain for a view of all we were meant to be—and also—all we were meant to be—together.
Perhaps the spirit of these Olympics will linger just a bit longer. Perhaps in the uncertainty of each of our days, in a world marked by uncertainty it will point us toward a better place—and a better place to begin each day.
A place where together we begin to see and believe that hope for our lives, the lives of our children and grandchildren and others is real, and we begin to reach across our differences to raise each other up to the top of the mountain.
Hope that leads us to a place we find where we begin to believe that we truly can become more that we ever thought we could be—for ourselves and for others.
Hope! Believe it!
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2010. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.