I just love the Olympics, I always have. Linda and I sat at home, and ate our dinner in front of the t.v. while we watched the opening ceremony of the games in Rio this past weekend. The music, the lights, everything about it was great. I even learned a little bit about the history of the host country, Brazil.
I’ve always liked the parade of nations where all the countries competing parade through and are introduced. Some countries have many many athletes like America, we have the most with 554 delegates. But there are other countries like Tuvalu, who have only one delegate. Then there’s the way all these countries dress up in their native attire. I still think it’s kind of weird that Bermuda always wears Bermuda shorts! (Is that the best they can do?) But this year in the parade of nations, there was something I had never seen before! A new category was introduced, and it wasn’t a new country, but a category called “Refugees!”
These were athletes who for one reason or another were forced to leave their native country, and given the opportunity to compete under the Olympic flag. One announcer put it like this… “Before it was like they were running away from evil that seemed to be everywhere! This gives them the chance to run toward a finish line that they can actually see!
All this made me start thinking how Peter said, “we don’t belong here, we are strangers in a hostile land” (1 Peter 1:1-2.) We may not like the way it sounds, but we’re nothing more than refugees ourselves, who’ve been given a temporary place to stay. And as Paul said while were here we’ve been asked to run the race to the best of our ability. To do the best we can, for the Glory of Christ! There will be many distractions, and the race will be long. But if that’s what we’re called to do… so we need to do it!
By the way, that sportscaster also said that none of these refugees had a real chance of getting a medal. But their satisfaction would be in competing and doing what they were meant to do! So maybe we won’t become famous or get any medals for practicing our faith and running the race. But like the man said our joy should come in doing what we were made to do! And that is to love and serve Him. And by the way, that closing ceremony will be like something we can never imagine!