Monday, August 13, 2012

Scoring a Perfect Ten

Yesterday at the gym I was “biking” to nowhere, grateful that the TV in front of me was set on the Olympics and that the Olympics was set on rhythmic gymnastics. I know, I know, not everyone’s favorite sport, but I was entranced. I peddled and peddled and watched young, agile bodies perform almost impossible movements – wrapping spines around soccer-sized balls, spinning hula hoops with one over-head foot, twisting and rolling and never losing sight of the props, always graceful and fluid and elegant. It was enough to make you think that maybe humans could be perfect. It was enough to make me realize why our Christian gospel often falls on deaf ears.

Human beings are amazing. That’s why we all love the Olympics – it’s a chance to see our fellow humans achieving astounding things – running ever faster, jumping higher, performing ever more challenging dives. We are all impressed with ourselves – the proof is right there on the TV; human beings are amazing.

So what’s with this “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” thing? Isn’t the glory of the Olympics enough? Look at what people can do, what awful conditions they can overcome, what remarkable beauty they can produce, what mind-boggling skills they can develop. And they all seem like such nice, good people; they train 24-7 – they don’t have time to get into any trouble. Original sin? Total depravity? Surely you jest.