"This is just for pride; that's all."
This comment comes straight from an Olympic commentator's mouth tonight about a gymnast in the men's floor exorcise .
I've been watching gymnastics since... well, as long as I can remember. Every weekend as a child I would study the TV Guide, seeking out "Wild World of Sports". We only had 3 channels (plus PBS) back then. If gymnastics was listed, I was watching. Back then, I didn't pay much attention to the competitor's scores; I only watched because I loved watching. The Olympics were the culmination - I knew the participants because I had seen them already on TV. The beauty, the skill, took my breath away.
Somewhere along the way, I lost that childish joy. The shear enjoyment, the amazement, of the girls staying on the balance beam, or their flight from the upper to the lower bar on uneven parallel bars, the amazing flips and twists on the floor exercise, was replaced by who was winning, who bobbled, who missed an element, who (gasp) fell on her tush.
I miss that innocence. I miss watching gymnastics simply for the joy.
In the same way, I miss the childish innocence of simply being in awe of the God I knew from Bible stories. Jesus was HUGE; such an awe inspiring person; I loved contemplating His miracles - picturing them in my mind. More than that, I loved thinking about how much He loved ME, and being satisfied with that knowledge.
But that was before the world's cynicism and denial intruded on MY world. Somewhere along the way, I crossed a line - a line that cannot be uncrossed. Never again will I be that child of innocence - that child that watched Olga, or later, Nadia, and basked in her grace - that child who heard "Jesus loves you" and was completely satisfied with that simple fact, and glowed in that love.
Oh, don't get me wrong I still MORE that believe that God is THE God, that Jesus really DOES love me. And I'm still in awe of the near-magical feats of the Olympic gymnasts. But the child-like innocence is gone. Now I cringe at the tiniest hop on a vault landing. Now I rage at the merest insinuation that Jesus is less than God.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11
I wish it didn't have to be this way.