Olympic values.

Arete:    Excellence.    The goal of a human being.    (Great advertising slogan:  Be all you can be!)   Excellence.

speed skating

As I watch the Olympic games I notice how often the winter sports present an image of unison.    Above are some speed skaters from some past year;  below are some Olympic Nordic skiers, practicing:

nordic practice

Today I watched the cross country competition  (Nordic skiing).   I had my favorites, but as an extremely amateur cross country leisurely skier,  my eyes were fixed on their form.   Perfect form gives the freedom and ease  that facilitates speed.

As I saw the first half hour of the race, there were dozens and dozens of skiers, all in rows,  all doing exactly the same thing.  Like clones.    As  much as they were individually able to,  they had all perfected the best form for achieving the highest possible speed.

Today, an American broke his ski pole.   That happens sometimes, but what followed is an unfortunate but not altogether unexpected result:  His skis got out of place slightly,  he knocked into another skier slightly,   he got an elbow in his face, lost his sunglasses….etc, etc….and lost too much time to hope to win a medal.    He had been distracted by the necessity of the new ski pole, which of course, ruined his perfect form.

Oh, yes   The sermon.   Once again I didn’t anticipate the new twist today’s sermon presented for us.    It was a familiar passage:  The parable of the Wheat and the Tares (cockles)  (weeds).

wheat and tares

In the parable,  the agricultural foreman reports to the landowner that there are too many weeds growing in the field of wheat.    After some discussion,  the landowner tells the workers to leave them be,  wait until harvest, and when everything is ripe,  He. the Owner,   will send in the experts to judge what is good wheat and what is just cockle and weeds,  to be thrown out and burned.

Take a look at today’s Church.   According to what we read in the news,  the harvest must be very, very close now, because we see such an abundance of “weeds” in the Church.   You can hardly see the good wheat.

But the twist in the sermon today was to turn this field into – not the world (the field)  with wheat and weeds  –  but turn this parable into a kind of self-examination.   You are the field.    Within you you have the good (wheat)  but also, if you’re not careful, you will have some weeds growing:  erroneous thinking,  errors in doctrine,  faulty actions,  bad deeds, lazy attitudes,  etc.


Well, I get a little distracted nowadays.  My thoughts went to this young man,  one of the world’s finest slopestyle athlete/artist on snowboards.    It is excellence in motion.

Just how many times do you think he had to do this maneuver to get it perfect?   As we visualize him practicing, in all ways possible, during all seasons,  for many years,  what was he doing with all these repetitions?   He was learning the good.   He was recognizing the errors and eliminating the imperfections in his form.

He was nourishing the wheat.   He was eliminating the weeds.   Now.      This is what we can do now,  before the Creator of all things decides it’s Harvest Time, and begins eliminating the weeds for us.

This is indeed our time of Mercy.confession

Enjoy the Olympics!   May they inspire us to Excellence!

Explore posts in the same categories: Apocalypse, Sunday Readings

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  1. Inspiring blog! Thanks for sharing nice thoughts to us and how you relate snowboarding to your inspirational piece. Indeed! Practice makes us perfect as well as our mistakes would turn us to a right person.

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