Like many of you, we have been watching a lot of the Winter Olympics. The cold, recent snow and Omicron have meant we have had evenings at home to follow the events on the snow and ice in Beijing. The fluid grace of the figure skaters, the strength and determination of the speed skaters, the amplitude of the snowboarders and the quirky skill of the curlers are all fun to watch.
Curling, although it is not made for primetime, is still my favorite winter sport. 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 40-pound polished granite stones across the ice into one another. It is a combination of bowling, billiards, shuffleboard, 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,” instead of a broom I half expect to see a long john in their other hand. This is a sport made for donuts!
The Olympic motto is “faster, higher, stronger,” but the key to curling seems to be slower, lower, gentler. It is not about speed, brute strength or overpowering force but applying the right touch at the proper angle that wins the day.
If Jesus were to enter the Winter Olympics, I have no doubt that he would be a curler. He probably wouldn’t choose one of the ski events which requires a lot of fancy equipment or the figure skating which has lots of quads and sequins. But since he grew up around a lake, he might feel more at home with this sport that was born on frozen northern lakes, which still retains a kind of working-class vibe. It is also a team sport rather than an individual event.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…,” “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them…,” “The stone that the builders have rejected as become the corner stone…,” See what I mean, right touch, proper angle.