Sunday, February 28, 2010
Is it possible to create a climate of jubilation that inspires athletic action, positive behavior, wall-breaking emotion? If you were able to take a walk in downtown Vancouver during the last two weeks, I think you might be convinced of the power of positive thinking. Like the picture my sister drew for me of her experience walking down Granville street: a celebrating joyful, polite crowd all around her, suddenly pausing in near silence, parting, making way for a quiet line of Vancouver City police on horseback, then, a spontaneous outbreak of, “Oh, Canada, our home and native land … “ The national anthem sung raw and real on the downtown city streets.
I believe ...
Of course, most of us who are jumping around with bright red mittens waving, celebrating the achievements of our athletes, were not present to see the hours, days, weeks, years of practice, pain, and sacrifice that each athlete underwent prior to those few minutes on our TV screens. Still, I don’t think we can completely write off the push that positive thinking and a strong emotional support system can contribute to an athlete tuned to give the performance of his/her life.
(The crazy thing is, that two of the three above noted fiends are strapping endorsers of the Vancouver Olympics. Can’t you just reach out and touch the irony of that? Off of our collective poor healthy choices, the athletes of the world perform so magnificently … )
It truly is a strange world we have forged for ourselves. Do you know that you can buy an alarm clock that wakes you to applause? Not sure how that can help, beyond a novelty grin lasting a few minutes over a couple of days. But, what if the nation summoned a roar of cheers every time a mom bought apples instead of cookies, or a kid walked home from school, past the local fast food trap, without spending his allowance? What if people on the street erupted into applause when a jogger panted on by? Or a dad spent time with his kids playing outside in the back yard? We need support to live well, to make good choices, to turn from the unhealthy patterns we’ve fallen into over the years.
We need support to make good spiritual and devotional choices, too. There are unhealthy devotional patterns that many of us have we’ve fallen into over the years, too. How do we encourage strong spiritual growth without sacrificing a spirit of humility, or encouraging a feeble shadow of the spirit, rather than a robust authentic life-changing devotion?
I’ve already blown it a number of times, but, perhaps that failure in itself is a touch stone, a recollection to reality that I am not after forging an addiction, but prayerfully offering a sacrifice of authentic action.
And, you know, just for a minute, the other day, I thought I heard a small cheer from the heavenly hosts …. now that’s jubilation that heals!