So, the Olympics ended last night. We watched the primetime broadcasts and the many incredible stories of discipline and dedication, along with the medals won.
But this is what struck me the most about watching the Olympic Games this year. This is the closest thing we can witness on Earth to the Kingdom of God in action in our midst.
205 nations represented, gathered in one area, living in community for one single purpose, united under one banner.
Every athlete submitted to one single authority.
Every athlete accountable to and judged under the same authority.
11,178 athletes cooperating across language, cultural, and financial barriers.
A wealthy European in one lane, next to an impoverished Kenyan in the next, but running the same race with the same opportunity to win.
An athlete with a staff of coaches and trainers trained in state-of-the-art facilities next to one who has trained alone with no support or help in a public park for the past 4 years.
Nations whose governments hate each other with missiles pointed at each capital had athletes who embraced one another.
When an athlete fell and was hurt, another would stop his/her race to help.
At the finish line, placement was usurped by hugs and high-fives.
Where war and terrorism have been the daily news, peace and unity made the headlines for almost 2 weeks.
And when the cameras realized a group was huddled to pray, they didn’t turn away as is typical but actually allowed us to eavesdrop for a moment.
For the better part of two weeks, we were allowed to be spectators to some of the finest athletes to ever walk the planet. But we also got to witness some of the best of humanity in a day when the worst is always and only put on display.
So, you and I aren’t record-setting athletes, no TV cameras will follow us around, and no commentator will ask us how we felt after we made it through another workday. But we can walk in this actual Kingdom that the Olympics only showed us an imperfect model of. The athletes and their attitudes can inspire us, but the God Who invented love, kindness, generosity, patience, unity, and peace is ready to coach us every moment as we run our race.
The Olympics are over, but the Kingdom of God is at hand.
People will come from the east, west, north, and south. They will sit down at the table in God’s kingdom. —Luke 13:29 ERV
God’s kingdom is not seen in talk but in power. —1 Corinthians 4:20 GW
My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. —Acts 20:24 NIV
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. —Hebrews 12:2 NLT
*Garlyee Baye Liberian Scholarship Fund Update: From one lady who sent $25 to a family who donated $100 to a businessman who gave $1000, $2,125 has come in. We are just $375 away from our first semester university scholarship being given away. If you want to help, click here.