I love the winter Olympics! Well, actually I really only love the figure skating events, although I do follow some of the other sports because NBC makes me wait while they move back and forth through the different events.
I have especially fallen in love with the ice dancing and the pairs skating over the past three or four seasons of the winter Olympics. I love the creativity, the artistry, the skill and gracefulness of the couples, the synchronicity of their moves, the colorful costumes, the selections of music and the stories they often tell. I love watching the lifts (I’ve never seen anyone dropped but admit it does make me a bit nervous) and the “twizzles.” I love it when I recognize dance moves that Dan and I learned taking ballroom lessons together. I love the expressions of emotion on the faces of the couples when they know they’ve put on a fantastic performance – whether they be ear-to-ear smiles or tears of joy and relief. I love when they embrace, congratulating and comforting one another.
What most impresses me and that sets these couples apart from the single skaters is the intimacy of their performance. No duh, right? The single skaters have all the “right stuff” as well: sheer athletic ability, grace, creativity, great costumes, music (though not the lifts, of course). But think about how much more difficult it must be for two people to move together perfectly, as if they are one. Two times the risk of making a mistake that will affect them both, twice the risk of injury or illness, again affecting them both. Training together hour after hour, day after day, year after year. Having to get along with one another, sacrificing self for the benefit of the whole. Think of the incredible level of trust they must have in each other – perhaps especially for the women that their men will always catch and hold onto them and not drop or let them fall.
I realize these young people are in essence actors as well as athletes. So may I suggest that their beautiful performances paint for us a lovely portrait of what God has always intended for marriage to look like! Husband and wife dancing and moving through life as One, adoring and caressing each other, trusting each other implicitly, naked before one another in the vulnerability of their emotions, comforting and caring for one another, working as a team with one mindset and one ultimate prize as the goal.
As a Christian, will you set the bar this high? Will you put yourself through such rigorous discipline as Olympic hopefuls do? Are you willing to do whatever it takes? Will you set before yourself a picture of God’s design for your marriage? Will you “go for the gold”?