-DISQUALIFIED after the Crowd celebrated with you your victory!-
The 31st Olympic Games have come and gone. Two weeks of exhilarating muscle working contests being watched by many around globe and experienced by even more as over 2000 athletes competed for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals as a token of claim of being the world’s best.
Firstly, let me say those who gathered at Rio, are the known best. Those who gathered at Rio, like in London and Beijing 4 and 8 years ago, an all other 28 Games before only represent those who qualified for having participated in recognized competitions.
Permit me, I must make a footnote here because our claim of them being the best as it may sound is limited to the word known, meaning there are many more unknown. Not everybody showed up at Rio.
Rio 2016 Olympic Games like all others had exceptional highs and very lows, ups and downs surprises and foregone conclusions. …Stay with me I am going somewhere !
For some it was their first for others their last. Some came to make history others came to be a part of history. Yet others were declared history!
As I reflect on the Rio Olympics Games, I am compelled to pause in adumbrated sense at a startling observation I made.
All two weeks I like many as a longstanding track & field supporter and follower sang the praises of Usain Bolt, Wayde van Niekerk, Mo Farrah, Caster Semenya, the Brazilian Football team led by Neymar, Yego, Allison Felix and many others.
What I am led to pause on today for this brief homiletic expression is something else I saw.
I saw athletes complete their races, I some athletes celebrate after they had completed an event or a race. They celebrated and the crowd celebrated with them. … Yes they celebrated, we celebrated!
I watched how they each reached for an area in the crowd where the presence of a common nationhood was displayed marked under what we call a national flag.
My brothers and sisters and fellow preachers, I watched how they confidently fetched their nations flag, and with broad smiles, in between tears of joy wrapped that piece of cloth around them. Without any doubt the highest form of celebration for being a patriot.
Yet, I saw that after all that the SCOREBOARD, shows DISQUALIFIED. … I said the scoreboard did not confirm or agree with the celebration, …my my my…can I get a witness?
The scoreboard showed something the crowd never saw, the scoreboard identified something that the normal eye could not pick up. So insignificant so small that it lied to the eye, except the SCOREBOARD. Can I preach now?… Let me preach!
I said the scoreboard brought some athletes who finished the race, who celebrated the victory even with a lap of honour, draped in national colours and congratulatory remarks, selfies and pics, to the earth in earth shattering means when it registered DISQUALIFIED.
The epitome of this for me was the American men 4×100 relay team they completed the race, they ran the full 400 like Jamaica and Canada. Usually amon the medals, they were to pick up a bronze medal after Jamaica and Canada, but they like the Trinidad and Tobago team were disqualified. They like the athlete whom Mo Farrah beat into second spot were disqualified.
I thought about how many of us preachers often feel on a Sunday we have completed the race, we celebrate our achievements, we stand draped in personal pride and acknowledgment as those who love and adore and follow us sing our praise.
I thought how we brim in pride at our conferences with the so called whose who of “stars” the famous ones, and we feel we have just earned a gold medal. Because finally they will recognize us as important.
Yes, I thought how we gaze over our ministry escapades our websites, the billboard signs with our faces on, with one suit after the other in choreographed pose, our wives on toe. I thought of the flashing cameras the “White House presidential protocol” we deceive ourselves to now need and the spellbound crowds we have moved by our articulation and oratory skills and giftedness.
I thought how some of us became “stars” and feel almost untouchable, and we are limousine-chauffeur-driven from our little palaces, can bark out orders and instructions for have servants around us.
I thought how we stand brimming in that moment as a typical figurative Atlas, beaming and almost justified pride, expecting for the final Scoreboard to attest our winning and placing.
Then, where there were smiles frowns appear, where exuberance makes way for somberness. Joy makes way for sadness. Yes we want to protest, we feel an injustice as we look at the Scoreboard and it looks at us unintimidated by who we think we are—let me preach, I feel like preaching because I am preaching to myself,
Yes, one moment we stood tall, the next we are brought down to earth with a bang because the scorecard and SCOREBOARd saw what nobody else saw! We are scored not on the public but often the private!
My friend don’t let the scoreboard testify DISQUALIFIED when you have assumed you in prime medal contention!
Yes, you made it onto the Billboard, you had your own TV programme and slot, your Radio gig and Facebook and Twitter following of 10000. You wore customized suits like Nike dresses the Rio Top Athletes in customized apparel.
You spoke at all the major conferences, you made the demands of how much you must be paid because you had a name. Others admired you others even envied you, but the Scoreboard after all this says DISQUALIFIED!
Don’t get fooled by those who celebrate with you, don’t get mesmerized by those who sing your praise! Unfortunately they are not the scoreboard!
Lord, I pray help this sinner whatever may come my way, I just don’t want to be DISQUALIFIED !!