Retire the Trophy

RobDevotions

Mitchell_trophy_smI already miss the Olympics.

Anyone else?

My kids are at the perfect age now to watch it and really enjoy the determination and competitiveness. And there were so many lessons to learn from the games.

 

 

 

 

  • Lessons about the dead end of cheating
  • Lessons about the importance of consistency in training for a goal
  • Lessons on humility
  • Lessons on the ugliness of arrogance
  • Lessons on national pride
  • Lessons on freedom

Man, the list goes on and on. But now the games are over and we are left with what was an incredible event — most of which will soon be forgotten. Then add this to the mix.

China spent over 50 billion dollars on these games!

WHAT??!!

In a country where some are still eating 1 or 2 meals a day and live far, far below the poverty line the government spends over 50 billion (and yes, Austin Powers, that’s billion, not million) on the 16 day event?!

WHY??!!

To impress the world. To let the world know that China has arrived.

Ok, now we know. And they are 50 billion in the hole.

I have to admit, the opening ceremonies (and closing, for that matter) where very impressive, but…50 Billion??!!

Give me a few minutes. I’m breathing into a brown paper bag…

Okay, better now. They have to live with it, not me. But you know what got me even worse than a government spending so much while ignoring more than  two thirds of their population? What got me more was what they said about the opening ceremony.

“They might as well retire the trophy, because there will never be a better opening ceremony that this.”

Hmm. Honestly, I couldn’t shake the feeling that, as awesome as it was, God must be laughing in heaven. Compared to His opening ceremony of creation, the Beijing games  looked like a fire cracker that sparked a couple of times but never went off.

The Chinese government claims there is no God and that man is their own God—determining his own destiny.

Contrast this arrogance with the humble attitude of King David in 1 Chronicles 29:10–19,

10 Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly:

   “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel,[a] may you be praised forever and ever! 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. 12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.
 13 “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! 14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! 15 We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
 16 “O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you! 17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously.
 18 “O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes. 19 Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.”

David is quick to give all praise to God and to recognize that even man’s very finest achievements are nothing compared to what God does. Even the mental and physical capability we have to do anything comes from God in the first place.

When all is said and done, you have to choose one of these philosophies.

God is Great; God is Good

or

Man is Great; Man is Good

I’m going with God.