With only a few days of Olympic competition left, and most of the premier events completed, can we chat about the bigger picture?
First things first
But first I want to get this off my chest: NBC, the commercials. Really? You’ve succeeded in numbing my mind with the plethoric repetition. Haven’t you heard the saying: variety is the spice of life? Please.
With one exception: the commercial that reminds us there is gold in each of us (as in gold, the element) as well as Gold – the medal representing greatness. And that it takes strength to find it. I love that one.
The bigger picture
That takes me back to the bigger picture—that there is so much more to the Olympics than what NBC shows us. I’m a fan, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been a fan for a super-long time. I’m in awe of people who can do things I can’t—like tumbling, diving, swimming fast, leaping over hurdles and high bars, and wearing skimpy clothing in public. In addition, I’m in awe of those who excel in the sports that get little attention, but still require guts and grit. Sports like badminton and table tennis (stop laughing!) Like fencing, women’s rugby, women’s boxing, three-position shooting, time-trial cycling. Admittedly, not a ton of glory there—but the requirement to dig deep, work hard, and do your best with a goal in mind is just as much a part of those competitions as the more popular ones. And I admire that. A lot.
I also learn stuff during the Olympic games, and I like to learn stuff. I learn about the host city and country—about its history, culture, strengths and struggles. I learn about sports I’ve never heard of or seen played (arena handball, anyone?) And I learn about extraordinary people who otherwise would remain in obscurity—people like the 70-year-old white woman who coaches young South African runners formerly prevented from competing due to apartheid. And watching one of them obliterate a 17-year-old record. Yes, more of that!
I’m fascinated by this metaphor of gold—the literal existence of it inside me—inside you—inside every person. And the figurative existence of gold (greatness/potential/purpose) waiting to be discovered and mined and processed. Yes, that does take strength. I learned that on a tour of the Bodie Stamp Mill this summer. I was shocked, actually, at the complexity of the process of getting the gold out of the rock. I wondered if it was worth all that machinery, all that noise, dust, danger.
Apparently, it was worth it for a few. The ones who had a vision and stopped at nothing to see it come to fruition. And yes, I’m speaking of both the gold miners and the Olympians. And the rest of us.
The Olympics inspire me—encourage me—keep me pressing on. Keep me believing. I’ve got queries out to a couple dozen publishers right now. Will they see my gold in the pages of the manuscript? I hope so. I pray so. In my heart, I feel I’ve mined the deep places, put in the time, invested the dollars, and paid the dues. Whatever the outcome, I know the gold within me has been brought to the surface. God knows how brightly it will shine.
What about you? Have you discovered your gold?