Why do you watch the Olympics? I’m not a sports fan – and I rarely watch television – but I do confess to watching the Olympics in Salt Lake City most evenings for the past two weeks.
What we call “humanity” is a pretty diverse crowd of folks. There are Enron executives who swindled shareholders and employees while fattening their own piggy banks. There are politicians who kept silent while stuffing their pockets with these ill-gotten gains. There are local heroes who risk their lives to save drowning children, or pull accident victims from burning vehicles. There are lying special interest groups who will say just about anything to get another fistful of our tax money to advance their one-sided agenda.
Whistleblowers who sacrifice their careers to tell the truth about a government agency’s shoddy work. Priests who molest children. Firemen who rescue families from burning buildings, and passers-by who join the victims of a train wreck so they can sue the carrier for damages. Soldiers who give their lives to purchase another’s freedom.
Yeah … we’re a diverse crowd – and not only in our actions. When it comes to expectations, we’re all over the map! Those who set impossibly high goals, and those who fear disappointment and set no goals. Those who work hard to achieve their dreams, and those who never do more than dream of success, while their lives slip through their fingers.
The news media, the educational monopoly, and the politicians in our country are normally consumed with the “unfairness” life inflicts on the latter group, so it’s refreshing to see the hard workers experience their 15 minutes of fame. The under-the-radar athlete too busy with training to hype herself on the talk show circuit, yet who takes home the gold. The fifth-place finisher suddenly catapulted from obscurity to gold-medal winner because he was the only one left standing at the end of the race, and who understands his good fortune. The overlooked kid who routinely falls during practice, but once under the spotlight turns in a flawless performance and takes home the gold.
Our cultural worship of diversity is, of course, a sham – as the Olympics so clearly demonstrate. Like the blind materialists we’ve become, we worship not diversity of mind and spirit, which is the essence of our humanity; only diversity of color and sexual preference, our lowest common denominator. Far from being a trait we earnestly value, diversity is now a weapon that we use to hammer all of humanity into a shapeless, formless glob; a polka dotted, mooing herd free to achieve only mediocrity within the fenced pasture, one whose members have been trained to avoid at all costs the lofty altitudes of high achievement.
That’s why I watch the Olympics. Apparently the press, the politicians, and the educational diversacrats haven’t yet figured out what the Olympics really tell us. A lifetime of practice makes a difference; single mindedness of purpose matters; sacrifice pays big dividends the day opportunity finally arrives.
Even with their failings, the Olympics provide a glimpse of humanity as God intended: focused on the best, and destined for greatness.
Yet the Olympics provide something else, too: They are a constant reminder of our limitations. Each one of us, even the best of the best, operates within certain limits imposed upon us by God. The evil and failure and ugliness that we face is often of our own making. We are creatures of limits; He has none. Beauty and joy in this life result when we recognize our limits, yet do the best that we can with what we have. God’s promise for the future – to all those who love Him – is for an eternity without limits.