Thursday, February 20, 2014

my olympic moment

This may sound very unpatriotic but...well...I'm just being honest...
until last night I had not watched one single second of the Olympics.
It was the end of a very long day and for the first time in weeks I felt the need to just sit down for a few moments and let my mind wander to a simple diversion from the complexities of life.  

I warmed up a grain-free brownie, poured a glass of water and sat down in our big comfy chair.  After a few deep breaths I turned the t.v. on and began searching the channels looking for something that wouldn't scare the pants off of me while Joey was out of town {which is hard to do, by the way!  all the crime shows...geez!}.  

When I got to the Olympics I remembered for the first time in days that they were actually still going on.  I also knew this was something that probably wouldn't give me nightmares, so I stopped my searching.  I sat the remote down, picked up my fork full of yummy-ness, and began to watch.  

I was only one bite in when the commentator introduced a figure skater from South Korea who was taking the ice.  She was dressed in canary yellow and even the movements to her start position were filled with grace.  Her routine began to the familiar notes of 'Send in the Clowns' and I sat my fork down.

Her arms flew wide and gentle as if she might lift up and take flight right out of that arena at any moment.
Her legs turned and twisted so smoothly that they seemed to be creating an invisible work of art.
And her eyes...I couldn't get over the intensity of emotion behind them as they lit her entire face up with a passion and energy I wouldn't attempt to describe.

I didn't want to take another bite.
I didn't want to blink my eyes.
I didn't want to move until I had watched every bit of what she was offering up like a gift on that stage of ice.
I felt warm tears spilling onto my cheeks and let them fall without considering how ridiculous it was that I was actually crying over an Olympic event.

But it wasn't really an event...it was art.
It was a breathtaking representation of an artist's heart depicted in the form in which she was created to express such beauty.

Here's what I knew about Yuna Kim by the time her flawless performance was over...
she has a generous spirit.

A late-night Google search further supported my suspicion by revealing that this 23 year old has donated millions of dollars to charity.  That's generous.  But I didn't need to read the statistics to know her heart.

Whether you make art by figure skating or painting or baking cakes or bailing hay or pecking out words on a keyboard...you have a choice...

You can hold your art out completely exposed for all the world to see...or you can hide it under a bushel {remember that little light of yours?}.

You can offer what you have to others or you can keep it to yourself.

It's true in all aspects of our lives.  We often feel this need to protect our investments.  We work hard on something and we are not so sure anyone else deserves to even take a look.  Or maybe it's just never quite ready to be revealed.  Or worse, we live in fear that if we let them take a look they will steal some part of it for their own selfish gain.

I have a competitive spirit and sometimes the spirit of competition can lead me to hold my hand of cards close.  I can begin hoarding the art and beauty that is being made in my life because I don't want someone to steal my ideas or distort them into something I didn't intend them to be...it's a miserable existence...clinching our hands around our art.

You've got to be competitive to make it to the Olympics...

...but when you compete for the sake of offering the best
rather than for the sake of being the best...
you are generous...
you are an artist.

I believe our art isn't really our own because we were created by a Creator who continues to create in and through us.
I believe the things we create with our lives are meant to be released out into the world to inspire others to create and release.
     create and release

When your art becomes about more than yourself
people will sit down their forks
they won't be able to turn away
they will receive what you offer as a priceless gift
and chances are...some of their eyes may even fill with tears when faced with the beauty of a life lived generously.

Many were surprised when Yuna Kim had to settle for a silver medal today.
I didn't see the other performances so I can't offer my opinion on the outcome, but I can say this...

the stunning spirit of generosity that Yuna Kim demonstrates in herself and inspires in others is worth far more than gold.

How can you be generous with your life?
How can you compete for the sake of offering your best
rather than for the sake of being the best?

4 comments:

Sabra Penley said...

An offering...not a performance. How I need to remember this in every part of my life! An offering to God...with everything I have to give--which is all given to me by Him. A beautiful circle of generosity...artful, graceful, beautiful!

Coppelia said...

Wow, that was really good. I recently heard an Andy Stanley message about dealing with fame & he said to remember who it's from and who it's for. Might be bad grammar, but it's a great message. We receive from God to give to others. Loved reading your post and being reminded of this again today. Thank you.

elizabeth said...

coppelia - I have heard that from him too...love it! what a great reminder in all we do...thx for sharing!

elizabeth said...

I love thinking of it that simply sabra! an offering above a performance...