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” Be ye Therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.”

Matthew 5:48

    We love and adore that which is perfect in our society.  Hollywood is built on the premise that the beautiful people can sell movies, models are airbrushed to perfection to sell magazines.  The Olympic games is going on currently with its motto, “Bigger, stronger, faster.”

    As the records fall, it seems these athletes do live up to the motto.  Just look at Michael Phelps, the epitome of the bigger, stronger, faster ideal.

 

Michael Phelps, olympic swimmer has a very real chance at an unprecedented eight gold medals this Olympics.

 

    Sadly, as recent scandals in Baseball and Bicycling have revealed, the push to be bigger, faster, and stronger can lead to the use of steroids, amphetamines, or other substances with very real consequences for an athletes long term health and well being.  When does the drive to perform cross the line into madness.  In my day, Michael Jordan was celebrated worldwide as the greatest ever, even carrying his team to victory over my beloved Utah Jazz in one game in the finals with Forty some odd point and the flu.  Today, it is Tiger Woods held in much the same esteem, having just won the US open with a severe knee injury in a playoff he counts as his greatest victory ever.  My question is, at what point does this single minded devotion turn into madness.  

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C.S. Lewis once wrote that “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it  than the next man.” I think one glance a popular culture can give us an idea of how saturated we are with this. It’s everywhere.

     There is not a sport in existence where people don’t make lists of the “greatest players.” It goes beyond statistics as the greatest players are the ones with championships.  In other words, they are the ones playing on the greatest teams. This is somewhat confusing because the whole idea of a team is to be a single unit, greater than the sum of its parts.   It is difficult to even conceive of greatest in a manner that doesn’t mean beating everyone else? Read the rest of this entry »

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