The opening ceremony of the Olympics was spectacular in many ways but maybe that touch of British humour added to its entertainment value. And whether you are a Mr Bean fan or not, his part in the orchestra and his dream of winning the race necessarily elicit a smile if not a good laugh.
Only the athletes who have trained hard to win and get a medal know the apprehension they must feel as they set out to compete in the games. Mr Bean’s antics would have brought some good comic relief. Yes try hard, but winning isn’t everything. And don’t forget that there is a Mr Bean in all of us.
Many people make reaching the top their life pursuit. I’m not speaking about winning the Olympic medal but that desire to achieve our life’s goal at all costs or as St Paul aptly described it so many years ago, ‘a crown that will not last’ (1 Cor 9:25). Whatever we give our lives to, there are our time, money, energy and dedication will be invested in most. And whilst having a good job, bringing up a family, getting good results, doing well in sports and so on are not wrong, they are not the ultimate reason we have been created for. Ask anyone who has failed or who struggles with emotional problems or who has suffered illness what things begin to matter most.
Many young people all over the world are understanding and experiencing how our God views us,what God really thinks of them. How passionate is His love for each and every individual human being to whom He offers salvation, truth and authentic freedom. The response is the quest to put everything else in its rightful place, making Jesus alone the real centre. This relationship is dynamic and needs to be growing. Again as St Paul reminds us, like those who compete in the games go into ‘strict training’, we cannot be spiritually lazy and distracted if we are to get ‘a crown that will last ‘(1 Cor 9:25).
That is why we are called to daily communion with the Lord in more ways than one because only in this way are we able to maintain our relationship with Him. As we grow in Him we find “We can only discover our true selves in sincere self-giving” (Lumen Gentium 24).
Let the Mr Bean in all of us take note.