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Curling and Jesus
This week I am dealing with painful post-Olympic withdrawal.
Usually my favorite Olympic event is whatever happens to be on at that moment—luge, skeleton, biathlon, snowboard cross, figure skating; I watch them all. But my all time favorite without a doubt is curling.
Curling is not made for primetime. It does not have the thrills of a bobsled going 90 mph down an icy track or the romantic grace of ice dancers twizzling. Curling is an ancient Scottish sport originally played on frozen lakes and involves sliding 42 lb. polished granite “rocks” across the ice into one another. It is a combination of bowling, billiards, bumper cars and donuts. As the curlers lunge slowly forward to slide their stones across the ice to bounce their opponent’s rocks “out of the house,” I half expect to see them with a longjohn in their other hand to enjoy between shots.
Last Friday for the first time ever the US Men’s team was in the gold medal game with the Swedes, which was on live beginning just after midnight.
I fought to stay awake through seven ends (an end is like an inning in baseball and there are ten ends in a match). The score was tied five all. At about 2:45 a.m. I fell asleep on the couch. I woke up about 3:00 a.m. having napped through the 8th end, and to my disbelief the score was Sweden five and the US ten! The US had scored five points in one shot, the equivalent of a grand slam in baseball, and I slept through it!
Disappointed at first, I realized that what I experienced was what it is to be Christian. The Good News is that long before we were born, God’s unconditional love tilted the score in our favor. With God as the Skip (captain) throwing the “hammer” (the final curling shot) we cannot lose. What we call faith is first simply waking up to the reality of God’s loving grace and coming to trust that we are farther ahead in the game than we ever realized.
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