Friday, March 05, 2010

Did you believe? - Nesdoly

I was sad to see the Olympics end on Sunday night. Canada will not soon forget those 17 days; I will not soon forget those 17 days - all the more because my province and my neighbor city hosted the event. The triumphant finish felt like a hard-fought win.

The 2010 Winter Olympics have been on the front burner here for a long time - and not always in a positive way. It seems as if the human penchant to expose, predict, emphasize and sensationalize the inevitability of disaster has been much in evidence in B.C. during the last few months.

There were complaints about the cost, about the disruption to traffic and business, about ticket-buying problems, about free tickets to dignitaries who probably wouldn't attend and so there would be empty seats. There were legitimate concerns about the mild weather and lack of snow on some ski and snowboard venues. There were poverty and homeless protesters disrupting the torch relay and predictions that the security for the games would never be enough. I must admit as the games approached I felt not a little dread. What if the Olympics turned out to be a big, embarrassing, flop?  So I prayed for safety, good weather, a positive spirit on the streets, and was confident that all would be well despite the naysayers.

Thus I'll never forget the horrible feeling I had when I heard of the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili  on the luge track just hours before the Opening Ceremonies. Were my worst fears going to come true after all?

For a while it seemed so. At the Opening Ceremonies the crew couldn't get the fourth cauldron leg to come up. On the ski hill rain and fog made it necessary to cancel events. At the speedskating oval a Zamboni broke down.  At Cypress VANOC was forced to refund standing-room ticket monies after the melting snow made the standing room area unsafe. Downtown, people were riled because the chain-link fence obstructed camera shots of the Olympic cauldron. The British press called it the "worst Olympics ever."

Vanoc remedied the cauldron photo problem by creating a camera slit in the chain link.

But everyone soldiered on. Alex Bilodeau won Canada's first gold medal on home soil. The weather cleared. The people of Vancouver and area came out to celebrate Canada and our athletes, showing unheard-of patriotism, good cheer and hospitality. Joannie Rochette inspired us with her brave and determined performance just days after her mom's death. And our athletes won medals - bronze, silver and gold upon gold. The crowning achievement came on Sunday afternoon when, just hours before the Closing Ceremonies, the Canadian hockey team won the gold medal - in overtime no less (but why am I telling you this - you all know it)!

In an interview Monday, VANOC CEO John Furlong said (and I paraphrase), "We couldn't have scripted the ending so well if we had tried. In the end, some kind of cosmic justice prevailed to reward all our hard work." If there was anyone who was a personification of the Canadian Olympic mantra, "believe," it was he!

The 2010 Olympics in Vancouver remind me of the "games" in which we are involved as Christians. How often don't things look bad for people who are running the race of life by the Word of God. The news is negative. Christian leaders fall from grace. Church attendance is shrinking. There is division within our own ranks. Popular culture is against us.

We had no certainty about how our international games-hosting event would turn out, but the end of our Christian games is sure.

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ." - 2 Corinthians 2:14
And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

      “ Blessing and honor and glory and power
      Be to Him who sits on the throne,
      And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” - Revelation 5:13
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” - Revelation 7:9-10

Do you believe?


Personal blog promptings
Writerly blog Line upon line
Kids' daily devotions Bible Drive-Thru
A poem portfolio
NEW IN 2010: Other Food: daily devo's


Dolores Ayotte said...

To answer your question...YES. :)

Peter Black said...

Thank you for this comprehensively concise scan of the Vacouver Olympics scene and the difficulties encountered along the way, and the eventual jubilation.
Great lead-in to our triumph in Christ, and faith focus. Ditto to Dolores' "YES"!!

Popular Posts