“When the Sign of the cross said “Thank You, Lord!”
While watching the summer Olympics in Rio, we felt the excitement of the many athletics winning events and getting a prized gold, silver or bronze medal. But every once in a while, an unknown athlete spirited to the front carried by the wild, enthusiastic cheering crowds. And suddenly we witnessed the surprised face of a flabbergasted, but happy and totally astonished unexpected winner. With TV cameras beaming in on a joyous face, we saw a hastily made sign of the cross. It’s true. It was the sign of the cross done before millions of world watchers.
Yes, it was hurried, but deliberately done. And it said to all who watched--that gratitude for this victory belonged first to God. It was the particular athlete’s way of showing humble gratitude to God for helping with the victory. Doesn’t Scripture say: "When we humble ourselves before God the more favor we get from God?”
Now we know that God didn’t actually run that race or swim in that particular lane, but this tiny, action reminds us of how God fits into the daily routine of our lives-all of our personal lives--even “athletes going for the gold.”
God made us to enjoy and God appreciates all we do. It’s God’s way of rekindling those precious Garden moments with Adam and Eve--walking closely with them in the “cool of the evening.”
Wait a minute! Surely, God loves all equally and the same–athletes and non- athletes alike. We understand His love puts everyone on this earth--and our creation is the first gift for which to be thankful. Everything else follows from that initial first gift.
The second gift is everything else we do - like swimming, cycling, playing the piano or enjoying a good novel. The purpose of this extra contribution like a beautiful singing voice--is to praise God. Now, as simple as that statement is, it isn’t always clear to us.
We like to take credit for all the good things that happen to us, and give God the “blame” for all the bad things. Yet it only takes a small action- like the sign of the cross- to tell the world “God deserves credit too.” God is not interested in a medal, a victory parade or any other fanfare. God only desires some modest respect for His love for each of us.
Like that athlete, we too can easily recall from where our successes and gifts flow. When we do, we can unassumingly utter a “Thank You” with this added plea “Lord, Help me in those times when I don’t finish first.” With these few words, God is praised and we live humbly in His favor!