Summary: The Olympics: 1- the sports 2- the training 3- the spectators 4- the rules 5- the rewards
INTRO.- ILL.- A man was discussing his tennis technique with a friend. He said, “My brain immediately barks out a command to my body: ‘Run forward, and fast.’ It says, ‘Start right now. Drop the ball gracefully over the net and then race back to position.’”
His friend replied, “And then what happens?”
He said, “And then my body asks, ‘Who, me?’”
Brethren, when it comes to most forms of exercise, tennis or whatever, our bodies often ask, “Who, me?” And most of us have found that we as we age our bodies keep asking more and more, “Who, me?”
ILL.- Several years ago my son Shane and I had an Olympic set of barbells in our garage. If you put all the plates on the bar it would weigh about 310 lbs. One Sunday evening we were getting ready to go to church and my daughter and son-in-law were visiting with us. In fact, he was going to preach Sunday night and it was a good thing.
Shane, Chris (my son-in-law) and I were in the garage and I decided I would deadlift that 310 lbs. I thought, “I can do this, because when I was 28 years old I could deadlift 435 lbs.” I bent over that weight and strained and tugged several times and my body said, “Are you crazy or what?” Needless to say, I did not lift that weight, not even a little.
As much as we hate it, as we age our bodies don’t respond as well as they once did. And most of us are not into any kind of exercise except for that hand-to-mouth exercise that we get at the dinner table. We’re pretty good at that, but it’s not an Olympic sport!
However, the Olympic spirit is in the air but not as much as expected. The 28th Olympiad in Athens is not being attended very well. Sounds almost like church or some churches.
Some are calling it the games no one attended. The last I heard only about 3.2 million tickets out of a total of 5.3 million have been sold. One problem is that the Greek people don’t make much money.
An average income in Greece is around $1,000 a month, about 40 percent of which goes to rent the typical apartment. That doesn’t leave the average Athenian with the money for $80 ticket to a big event. Contrast that with what we Americans make and can spend.
ILL.- One man from L.A. said, “We came in from L.A. and our plane tickets cost $1,700 each. We are staying with family and don’t have to pay for a hotel. We went to the Opening Ceremony, so each ticket for that was 950 euros ($1,172). We never expected anything so amazing. It’s worth it; I mean it’s something (my son) will remember for the rest of his life.” Total: more than $8,000.
You know what I think? I think that America is very blessed even though not many Americans have $8000 to spend on anything, much less on a trip to the Olympics.
As far as TV viewing is concerned, I read that NBC’s prime-time coverage Sunday, Aug. 15th, averaged 15.4% of U.S. TV households.
NBC’s three-night prime-time average of 14.1% of U.S. NBC says Olympic viewership, including cable, is up 11%.
A LOT OF EYES ARE ON THE OLYMPICS THROUGH THE MEANS OF TELEVISION. And if you haven’t watched some of the events, I’d encourage you to do so just for the sake of being an American patriot.
The most important thing about the Olympics is people. People from all over the world, competing in a sport they love and have talent in. Most of them are people just like us. They’ve just been blessed with a different talent than what we’ve been given.
We watch in admiration and appreciation. We may even be somewhat inspired to do more in life, to work harder, etc. Inspiration often produces motivation. When someone does a good job, they inspire us to do the same. And we give thanks to God for being alive and being a part of this world of abundance.
PROP.- God uses athletics in His Word to describe the Christian life. Life is like the Olympics in many ways. Let’s consider:
1- The sports
2- The training
3- The spectators
4- The rules
5- The rewards
I. THE SPORTS
I don’t know how many different events or types of sports there are in the summer Olympics, but there are plenty...something for everybody to watch and enjoy.
ILL.- I saw a survey one time where people were asked what was their favorite summer Olympic sport. 45% of the people surveyed said they liked the gymnastics the best. But, of course, that was before the track and field events had even started. Some Olympic events are mentioned in Scripture and do remind us of the Christian life.