A couple of topics come to mind on this lovely Monday morning that I would like to discuss:
As most of you know, the 2018 Winter Olympics are currently underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The Olympics will conclude this coming Sunday, February 25th. I must admit that I’ve watched very little of the competitions up to this point. But some of the athletic skill that’s on display is absolutely amazing. These Olympic athletes train incredibly hard for four long years in order to qualify and compete in contests that are sometimes decided by a margin of nanoseconds. One must admire the athletes’ complete dedication to their goal.
The striving for an Olympic medal reminds us of the apostle Paul’s words in First Corinthians:
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Paul’s Christian walk was disciplined and purposeful. What about us? Is our Christian walk even one-tenth as disciplined as those Olympic athletes who compete for a temporal medal? How much time do we spend in God’s Word. How often do we commune with the Lord in prayer? How often do we seek opportunities to share the Gospel and build up other believers? It’s a matter of the heart and desire. These Olympic athletes put us to shame, brothers and sisters.
This past Wednesday, a troubled teenager killed 17 people and injured another 14 in a shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I chose not to include this tragic story in the last Weekend Roundup. Why not? We live in a fallen world and it’s reported that 150,000 people around the world die every single day, many from tragic circumstances. I believe we should focus on spreading the Gospel rather than constantly reacting to the circumstances around us.
But I don’t have a heart of stone. I’m saddened for the victims of the Parkland shooting and for their families and friends and for all the children at the school who survived the mayhem. A nineteen-year-old with a well-documented, troubled past should never have been allowed to purchase a semiautomatic AR-15 assault rifle. It’s my opinion that no one needs to own a semiautomatic assault rifle, but the freedom to buy any type of firearm is so sacrosanct in this country that we’ll even allow an extremely troubled teen with a checkered record access to them.
When we board an airplane, we expect all proper precautions have been taken to ensure none of the other passengers have brought aboard a firearm or explosive device. We’re rightly concerned about our personal safety. Something also needs to be done to curtail these ongoing school massacres. Some type of restrictive measure needs to be in place to deny very troubled people like Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz (photo right), and Adam Lanza a basic firearm let alone an assault rifle! This is a difficult issue but this latest catastrophe demonstrates once again that politics trumps rational precautions at the expense of children. Guns should not be absolutely sacrosanct.
That said, let’s get back to the only thing that will save any soul, the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.