The Olympics come with the usual array of events: Protests. Threats. Questions. Complaints. Couldn't all that money be used in a better way? Then there's the thrill of victory. The agony of defeat. It's all there.
It seems the bigger something gets, the more opportunity to criticize it or protest against it.
There is much that I don't like about the Olympics, and yet, I find myself watching and enjoying the Olympics. I find myself getting up early or staying up late to see athletes compete. And not just Canadian athletes either. From a wide variety of sports I've enjoyed watching athletes from around the world; Canadian or not. I've even cheered for them (except, maybe, for the opponents to the Canadian hockey teams).
So why did I enjoy the Olympics so much? Because people were involved. Real people.
So much of today's "entertainment" is virtual. Games are played electronically. Most movies are computer generated; at the very least the special effects. Most business is conducted electronically. We communicate via email. We seldom interact with real people.
During the Olympics, we get to see people; real people. We see athletes shine and burst into joy; some because they won a medal; some simply because they were there competing. We see real emotion. We see talent. We see effort. We feel for athletes who trained for years but fell short of their goal; maybe they were just a little slow; maybe they literally fell and blew their chances; maybe it just wasn't their day. And we see their pain. We feel their pain. These are people who have given up so much for one shot.
I believe I've enjoyed the Olympics because of this human connection. These are real people, showing real feelings, in a real live setting. And whether they win or lose, we feel for them and we feel with them; and that's something that, I believe, is lacking in today's world.
Far too much of our "connection" and "entertainment" is virtual. It's a good thing that God didn't work that way.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life". There it is; the personal touch.
God designed us for human contact. We're made that way. It wasn't good for Adam to be alone. It wasn't even good that Adam and Eve were alone - they were to multiply. They needed each other; they needed others around them. They needed human contact.
Much has changed since the days in the Garden, but the fact that we need human contact hasn't changed. We still need each other. And I thank God that one of the places we can find a human touch is in the Church. The Church is a place for real people, with real feelings, sometimes with real problems and real failures, and often times with real victories. We are not a perfect people; but we do have a real love for one another and the funny thing is the more people we share this love with, the greater it becomes.
The Olympics come and the Olympics go; but our need to stay connected remains.