Have you been watching the Olympics? I have watched some about every night.
I have my favorite events. Figure skating and ice dancing are not at the top of my list. Nothing wrong with those events – just not my particular interest, I guess. Instead, give me snowboards, skis, bobsleds – you know that rough, tough stuff.
I always admire the athleticism of these contestants, and I give them a lot of credit for the hours, days, weeks, months, and years they train for their events. But this year, for some reason or perhaps for no reason at all, I’ve begun to watch those other participants in the entire picture – those who maintain the courses and equipment, those who see to getting each competitor started at the right time, judges – well, you get the picture – those serving on the periphery.
In one daring event, a participant took a nasty spill – properly called a crash. He stayed down and was obviously injured. I could scarcely believe the expediency of the rescue team! When I lived in Kentucky, I was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and I was good at my job. I belonged to the local rescue squad, and we responded to every type of call. From the coal truck crashed over the edge of the road to the car which rolled any number of times on its way down the mountain, even to extracting several victims from a car in the ice-cold river. What did they all have in common? We could walk, crawl or climb to our patients.
These responders had to arrive on skis. Definitely not my area of expertise. But these rescuers glided to their patient, apparently effortlessly, and quickly had him packaged, loaded on the sled (if that’s what it is called), and were transporting before you could blink an eye. Add them to the list of people who are an integral part of the support staff. All the while, the next competitor was readying himself for his turn at the hill!
We who declare ourselves to be Christians have as much responsibility for the well-being of our family, friends, and neighbors, even those unknown to us, as those rescuers had to their patient. The main difference is that our goal is not a gold medal, which shines for only a little while, but for the final reward of eternity in heaven.
An eternity in heaven far surpasses the temporary glory of gold medals, shiny and cherished as they are. Eventually they will tarnish but heaven will not. Congratulations to all the medalists, regardless of country, but for all of them, may they find their true reward through Jesus Christ. And you, too!