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Take a Bow

I haven’t watched enough olympics yet this year, but I’m getting into it now.  Something struck me as interesting as I watched a young high school gal receive her gold medal for swimming.  She was so elated and innocent and grateful that her smile was infectious.  I’m a fan of this young gal…I’ll root for her in 4 years.

What struck me is the motion these athletes have to go through to receive their medal.  I don’t know what is thought out during the planning of the ceremonies (probably everything), and I don’t know to what degree people think through the giving of medals (probably a lot).  But I noticed that the winners are on the podium – elevated to their height dependant on their place, and the person designated to hand out the medals are on the ground.  In order for the winner – the person who is the best in the world at whatever she or he can do – must bow to the person giving the medal in order to have it placed over their head.

This motion struck me as particularly appropriate.  Bowing, after all, is a way of signifying that one greater than yourself is really to receive the glory for whatever you have done.  Traditionally, an actor will take a bow in front of an audience as a sign that they lower THEMselves to God, who gave them their ability.

So here is a young woman, at the peak of performance, acknowledging in the very action of receiving her medal, that she is not the greatest after all…there is one who should receive glory for making her, for gifting her.

Now, I have never received a medal, and can’t think of a time when I’ve gotten first place for anything individual, but I have received praise now and again for some thing or other I have participated in.  May this young woman from Colorado be a reminder to me that I am putting to use the gifts and talents given to me by one greater than myself, not for my glory, but for God’s.

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