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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Olympic Games, Canadian style

When the Olympic games roll around every couple of years, us folks out on the prairie suddenly get all "greek." What I mean by this is that we get caught up in the events, cheering folks from all sorts of countries that weren't even countries when many of us were kids, and finding ways to hold up to the integrity of the "game", moreso than who wins or loses. (Unfortunately, the media that broadcasts the games does not hold to such a high standard, and often only shows stuff in real time that feature folks from Canada or the USA. Oh well...)

Back in the day when the Olympics were conceived, the purpose was to showcase talent and skill, and laurel wreaths were a way to recognize superior achievement...but soon (probably after the first semi-final match) the games became all about the winning...and as the Greeks eventually lost to Ceasar, you cannot win forever...That's why the integrity of the game is so important...it can survive wars, arguments, protests, disagreements, and downright hatred...whereas winning and losing comes and goes...(unless, of course, you are the Minnesota Vikings, and winning never comes around).

Out here on the prairie we live in a world where things come and go (we haven't seen warm weather in about three weeks), and where something has to mean more than a quick flash of success or fame or a drought of hope and promise...what best exemplifies the spirit of the Olympic games for us is our land, our prairies and rivers, buttes and valleys, and its constancy amidst the swirling winds of change...(We would agree with Lord Alfred North Whitehead, the famous British mathematician, who noted that everything moves...even rocks...they just move very slowly.)

It is that constancy that allows us to understand the land as a gift from God...that we are just stewards of the mysteries of life, and that somehow, winning or losing, the land, and even ourselves still have purpose and meaning...it's tough to remember that these days amidst 8 ft. snow drifts...but when Spring does come...oh what joy!

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