I Was Thinking…
I am enjoying many things about the Winter Olympics. The beauty of the snow and ice is breath-taking for this southern boy. The phenomenal athleticism of young women and men from all over our world is astounding. The thrill of common life, hope and possibilities regardless of nationality, ethnicity and religion is hope-filled and refreshing. Sharon enjoys ‘Figure Skating’ and I am in awe of ‘Ski Jumping’ and ‘Down Hill Skiing’.
What are hidden in all of this wonder are the hours of preparation for each athlete. We have seen many documentaries about such athletes that tell of early morning daily workouts that have lasted for years upon years. Many have sacrificed living with family and living a normal youthful life in order to have the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Games. Their many moments of preparation bring them to ‘such a time as this’…PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Preparation is an interesting concept. It is the action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration. It is often hidden or at the very least less noticeable than the result. Barbara Brokhoff, Preacher extraordinaire once described one of the important roles of clergy as the “agony and ecstasy of preaching”. Her point was that behind every meaningful sermon are many hidden hours of preparation that are often filled with agonizing prayer, study, research and creative consideration.
Whether we are lay or clergy persons in the church might we consider that we have been and are being prepared for ‘such a time as this’? Our calling together is to continue to prepare and seize the preparation hidden moments of days gone by for ‘such a time as this’. Our prayer lives, study lives, worship lives, communal lives as United Methodist Christians are for ‘such a time as this’.
The Old Testament figure known as Queen Esther was asked by her cousin, later her adoptive father, Mordecai the important question for the Jewish people, “For if you keep silence at such a time as this…you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just ‘such a time as this’.”
The Olympic Athletes have prepared for ‘such a time as this’…PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Preparation is the fuel that ignited their journey. It is no wonder that ‘slothfulness’ is one of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ because laziness never receives a gold medal…rustiness, at best, is its medal.
For what have we been prepared? For what are we preparing? One thing I know…there is a broken and hurting world all around us. Maybe God is saying through modern day Mordecai’s, “Perhaps we have come for just ‘such a time as this’.”