I’m a sucker for the Olympics. The athletes’ stories of personal triumph and beating unbeatable odds get me every time. However, the Olympics also shine a light on human frailty. This year, the issue of “cheating” with the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) has touched every imaginable sport. The U.S. is no exception.
I don’t follow Track & Field much outside of the Olympics, so I was completely confused when U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin was booed after being introduced for the 100 meter sprint final. NBC commentators quickly informed me that Gatlin had been guilty of taking PEDs in the past and had served two suspensions. I don’t know what is best when it comes to athletes competing after suspensions like Gatlin’s, but that chorus of boos made me think about the times I have done something wrong. The many times I deserved boos from family, friends, and, without a doubt, God. Yet, in that moment it struck me: Jesus hasn’t booed me yet.
This Sunday we’ll hear Psalm 103, an absolute gem, overflowing with God’s grace and mercy. Verse 10 speaks volumes, “[The Lord] does not deal with us according to our sins…” Hallelujah! When “dealing with us,” God removes (103:12) all that deserves condemnation within us. In fact, 103:11 reveals, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is [the Lord’s] steadfast love…” Love triumphs over all!
You and I may never win Olympic gold, but when we step onto the stage of everyday life, filled with God’s Spirit, the heavens cheer! You are God’s beautiful creation! The “boos” of the fickle crowd will never sway God’s steadfast love for you!
So get out there, Spirit-filled brothers and sisters! Get out there, children of God! The Lord’s cheering you on!
See you Sunday…