Wednesday, February 24, 2010

An Olympic Judge

O.K., it’s time for me to launch into my biennial ‘Olympic diatribe’ that my friends and family have grown so accustomed to hearing. While it probably stems from my general dislike of all of the ‘frou-frou’, sissified prancing around called ‘figure skating’ in the Winter Olympics and ‘gymnastics’ in the Summer Games, my aim is really focused on one thing: remove all events that cannot be objectively measured.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t knock the athletic abilities, talents, or training that goes into all of those various events that have ‘judges’; I have a great deal of respect and appreciation for what those athletes can accomplish. But, if you can’t determine the winner solely on speed, distance, goals scored, accuracy, etc. – it shouldn’t be an Olympic sport. When judges start applying their opinions as to ‘style’, ‘execution’, etc., you are really getting into ‘artistic expression’ rather than ‘athletic competition’. At least that’s my opinion.
So, I would completely eliminate a lot of events from the Olympics because they are based solely on judges’ scoring. But others would also need to be modified to remain an Olympic event. For example, in the ski jump, I’m sure that greater distance is obtained by maintaining proper form, etc. But, if one guy can out-distance the others by curling up in the fetal position and flapping his arms like a chicken, he should win. Use the tape measure; forget the judges.
The Olympics should be all about who can go faster, jump further, lift more, make more goals, etc.
And isn’t that the way we prefer to look at our lives, too. So often, we want to hold up our accomplishments and what we’ve done – especially in comparison to others – and use that as the measure of our lives. It shouldn’t really matter how we got we are as long as we end up with a few medals around our neck, right?
Unfortunately, God doesn’t look at our lives that way.
First of all, there is no ‘competition’. It doesn’t matter if we are faster than someone else, if we can go farther than another, or if we are more accurate than others. Why? Because we are the only ones in our race.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1, NLT, emphasis added)
The next way God views our lives differently than the Olympics is that He is THE Judge. And He is a perfectly righteous and just judge.
God doesn’t look so much at WHAT we accomplish (how fast, how far, how high) as HOW we do it. He judges ‘style’: heart, attitude, motivations – all of those things I prefer to be taken out of the equation.
And the real problem with the way God judges is that He demands perfection. If we hope to end up on the podium with a gold medal and a bouquet of flowers, we must score perfect 10’s every time. How can we possibly do that? We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (Hebrews 12:2, NLT)
So, get out there and run the race God has set before you:
When you leave the end of that ski jump and are flying through the air and a gust of wind catches you and throws you off balance - look to Jesus. The Judge's Score: 10.
When you attempt a ‘Double McTwist 1260’ and end up in a crumpled heap in the half pipe - keep your eyes on Jesus. The Judge's Score: 10.
When you think you’ve pulled off a colossal upset and truly deserve the prize, you better look to Jesus and give Him the glory. The Judge's Score: 10.

You are in your own race.
Train hard.
Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith,
act like men, be strong.
Let all that you do be done in love
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NASB)

No comments:

Post a Comment