From synchronized swimming to weight-lifting to gymnastics to track and field, many have been keenly anticipating the events of the 2012 Olympics as an opportunity to witness examples of the best that men and women are capable of when they work toward a goal. Others take a more skeptical view, citing such concerns as cheating or unfairness in its various forms, terrorist threats, and skyrocketing costs.
I look forward to supporting the peace and harmony of this summerâ€™s Games in the history-laden city of London through a prayerful approach Iâ€™ve learned from Christian Science.
Mary Baker Eddy, the author of the Christian Science textbook, believed that every individual has the right to live up to his or her potential, something each Olympic athlete is striving to do. As she says in that textbook, â€śScience and Health with Key to the Scriptures,â€ť â€śGod expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basisâ€ť (p. 258). To maintain this view of the purpose behind athletic competition â€“ that each individual strives to express his or her best â€“ will help protect against the negative, disrupting influence of the wrong idea of competition.
Additional concerns include security threats, possible political maneuverings, and potential logistical problems. These worries can be addressed effectively through prayer. The care, planning, and expense that the British hosts have put into the summer Games during a time of recession indicates that the Olympic ideal fosters a love for others and an outreach that includes the world. In Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy states, â€ś[A] right motive has its rewardâ€ť (p. 453), and so we can expect that the ideals that motivate the Olympics will have their reward in peaceful success.
Amid whatâ€™s described as the largest security effort ever undertaken in Britain, the prayer that affirms Godâ€™s safe, all-powerful government will aid in proving the spiritual fact that God-inspired safety and security can be expressed in all aspects of these Olympic Games. God, Mind, is the intelligence that brings insight and intuition to ensure that the myriad details that go into coordinating such a large-scale event can unfold in a way that blesses all who participate â€“ athletes, spectators, disrupted London commuters, and even television viewers.
And what about the British weather? The Bible assures us that God has gathered â€śthe wind in his fistsâ€ť (Proverbs 30:4). All-powerful Spirit can bring to the Olympic venues conditions that allow events to unfold smoothly and orderly. No cynical views about adverse weather patterns, climate change, or â€śbad luckâ€ť can cloud the proceedings or prevent athletic excellence.
The establishment of the London 2012 Paralympics (Aug. 29-Sept. 9) as a related event is evidence of progressive inclusiveness. It shows an understanding that God loves and honors all His children, giving strength and ingenuity to overcome obstacles and challenges.
May these Olympics be an occasion for the highest qualities of athletes to shine forth in the beauty, strength, and joy of active expression.
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