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 March 2018

Olympic Greatness and God’s Joy

I don’t know about you, but I was somewhat disappointed after the short program of the women’s individual skating event at the Olympics this year. Not only did the first two groups appear to be so determined to do well at the start of their routines, only to be so dissatisfied with their own performances at the end of their routines, they just seemed like they weren’t having any fun at all. Now I missed the last group (I was too sleepy to watch after the late news was over) and the second part the program has yet to come, but it felt like everyone was trying so hard not to make a mistake and lose a chance to get a gold-metal, that all the joy had gone out of the moment!
And then I remembered the 2002 Winter Olympics in the same event. It was 5 months after the September 11, 2001. The country was demoralized by the events of that day. And Sarah Hughes, a 16-year-old Olympian, who was a rising star because of her silver-metal performance in the national event the year before, stepped out on the ice to perform her “Free skate”, which was the second-half of the event. She was in fourth place behind three other very talented skaters. Hughes was not even expected to be on the podium at the awards ceremony…
…But then, wrote one sports writer, “She pulled off an impressive long program, which includ-ed landing a record-setting seven triple jumps. Hughes’s near flawless routine helped her edge out Russia’s Irina Slutskaya and U.S. favorite Michelle Kwan for the gold-metal.”
What I was most impressed with was a comment she made after the Olympics about her per-formance. She said, “I skated for pure enjoyment. That’s how I wanted my Olympic moment to be.”
I share this because I think the greatest part of knowing God and living as a servant of Jesus Christ is: You can find joy in a life with God!
That means we make mistakes and risk looking foolish. It means that we are willing to trust God. It means we live simply, walk humbly, and refuse to tolerate injustice. It means we love one an-other and offer help to our neighbor, every neighbor. It means we live content…and we enjoy it as God intended it to be!
We don’t have to live like we’re avoiding mistakes and fretting over losing awards and recognition.
We can live with the joy of the Lord and have strength of spirit in everything we do. Every-thing!
In Christ’s footsteps we walk,
Pastor Roger