Sadly the Olympics are over. Yes, for me it was kind of a sad time. Although I didn’t the enjoy diving, equestrian events, or trampoline (yes that is an event), I’ll miss the excitement of Phelp’s gold medal achievement, the character Usain Bolt, and the U.S. 4 X 400 relay. But like every Olympics before them, they came to an end. And I can guarantee you I won’t be watching (or at least enjoying) gymnastics or swimming for another 4 years.
I do have a few thoughts on the Olympics as a whole. First of all, I think what we see with all of these nations competing, with all of the diversity, with all of the different colors and get-ups (including the full body spandex and head covering from the woman from Bahrain) is a common desire to win gold for their country. We see a common humanity, a common theme, a common desire, a common vision. I believe that comes from a common creator. There is a common human condition and drive: to live for and bring glory to something bigger than ourselves. There is something that even the strangest, farthest away, goofiest person has in common with myself (and I realize that person would say the same thing about me). Unfortunately people usually try to meet this need through work, hobbies, sports instead of Christ, His Church, and His Kingdom.
Next, I do see the Olympics as a picture of the New Heaven and New Earth. If you watch track on TV, especially in America, it is pretty much vanilla, or chocolate. For the most part, distance has white dudes, and the sprints have black dudes. But in the Olympics for instance, I noticed the sprints comprised pasty white Irishmen, darker skinned white folks, middle easterners, Hispanics, Slavic folks, Asians, African-Americans, Africans, Aussies, etc….It was a beautiful colleidoscope and a picture of heaven where there will be all tribes and tongues represented.
The athletes walking around the track with their flags draped around them reminds me of the picture of the New Heaven and Earth in Revelation 21:24 when “the nations will walk by its (New Heaven and Earth) light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.” Only this time, its the kings and queens of the track, bringing their flags (the best of their culture) to display before the world.