Marching to music around a track. Feats of bravery, strength, speed, endurance, grace. Ceremonies and awards. Flags and fireworks.
When my kids were little, we had our very own summer “olimpics.” (That word is trademarked. Their symbol, flag, etc are all trademarked, too. OTOH, since anything athletic is bound to make me limp, I figure my version is honest and unique.)
Back to the story, though....Weaving dollar-store hula hoops together into an erstwhile symbol, neighborhood children decided what the events would be this year. Longest hanging time from the monkey bars… most sommersaults… fastest time to do five chin ups…. Should we add longest upside down hanging this time? Best cartwheel? Bike riding? Rings?
Using nails to punch orange juice can lids and a hot glue gun to attach ribbon on for the awards, the kids continued to plan things. Which was better: walking farther on stilts, or staying upright on them longer? They decided to feature both since two kids could win.
With their sense of fairness, the desire to include everyone, and to create ways for the younger or weaker friends to be winners, they embodied the true olympic spirit. Once, we had a biggest bubble blower contest so someone with a broken leg could still compete!
When the Big Week arrived, out came the tub of instruments: Jingle clacks, kazoos, rhythm sticks, tamborines still didn't drown out the shout-singing of whichever tune they sang for the opening ceremony.
We celebrated with slices of melon, ice pops or punch until the last day. Then, with whichever parents wanted to attend, we held a barbeque and awarded the ribbons.
Disneyland’s fireworks lit the
sky, and life was beautiful.
Tonight the opening ceremonies for the world Olympics is on TV. For just a few minutes, it’s easy to pretend peace and kindness reign throughout the world. The nifty costumes, confetti, and applause don’t fool us, though. Our world is an upside down mess.
Jesus wanted to be surrounded by children. “Such is the kingdom of heaven.” Ahhhh, yes. I don’t doubt He would have laughed at the red punch mustaches, embraced each winner, kissed away and scrapes or teardrops, and let each child know how very precious they are to Him.
That being said, He is beside each of us as we run the race, fight the fight, and keep the faith. I’d rather have that and peace in my hearts than receive a gold medal at the Olympics as the world rages.
Hula hoops, sno cones, and victory. Y’all are invited to my brand of summer games.
Sneakers and jeans are fine. No one has to wear a leotard.