Tonight I watched the Games of the XXIX Olympiad come to a close while spending some quality time with a few of the surrogate families God has blessed me with in Baton Rouge (shout-outs to the Taylors, the Russells, and the Staples). I don't think I've ever missed an opening or closing Olympic ceremony since I have been old enough to remember them. I'm such a sucker for all that drama, dance, music, and art and how each country uses those elements to create their own unique Olympic celebration with their national twist. China sure did outdo themselves this year, and London will have a tough act to follow. I've never been so amazed by the human feats performed in a ceremony as this one. It also really made me want to get a light-up drum and a high-collar red and gold dress. :)
Opening ceremonies are definitely my favorite. The closing ones just mean I have to wait another two whole years before the next Olympics. Despite the ceremonies' artsy fartsy quality (as my mom fondly calls them), I adore them still. For one, they always remind me of just how huge God is. Some people find the Parade of Nations entrance to be a dull tradition, but I love watching one country after another walking in their cultural dress and seeing the spectrum of skin colors. It's God's handiwork personified on a global level...one nation at a time. God made us all uniquely, and He loves us all uniquely. Wrap your mind around that one.
Secondly, the olympic ceremonies serve as a reminder of what life on this planet is supposed to be like and what God intended it to be like --- harmonious. The Chinese zeroed in on harmony as a theme for this year's opening ceremony, using the character for harmony in various artistic movements (including that incredible moving type act...I'm still in awe over that one). The Olympics has always been a time of putting aside differences for a time of friendly competition, but to me, it's a little bit more. I looked at the Bird's Nest, full of people from every corner of the world, and saw a glimpse of what God must have had in mind for humankind from the beginning (and for that matter...what we'll see in Heaven one day). What do I mean? Why...harmony of course. Harmony that puts aside petty differences in order to glorify a higher cause. In this case, it's the Olympics, but one day, people from every corner of the globe, a sea of multicolored faces, will join together in Heaven, put aside our past lives and glorify the God who made us and loved us all so uniquely. I can't wait to experience that in person one day.
Come to think of it...I'd even be ok with seeing a glimpse of that in person. Anybody up for London 2012? ;) Let's make a trip of it.