If someone offered you a free trip to the Olympics, including lodging, meals and tickets to a week’s worth of Olympic events, would you take it?
This coming summer the Olympics will take place in Rio, Brazil, and I suspect many of you would jump at the chance! While I’ve never been there, I’ve heard loads of stories about the beauty of Rio.
Twenty years ago, my wife had the opportunity to go to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Atlanta is not as exotic as Rio, but nonetheless, it was an all-expense-paid trip. The only catch was that she would be helping her sister who was a nanny for a family headed to the Games. The family wanted live-in childcare so they could see the Games, and they said my sister-in-law could invite a friend. She invited my wife.
But my wife didn’t go. It was a missed opportunity. And I am to blame. We were newlyweds, I reasoned, and I couldn’t bear the thought of her being gone for a week just a month after we got married. So Michelle stayed home. I knew it was disappointing to her, but she never complained.
As I look back on that, I wish I would have been more open to the idea. I wish it wasn’t a missed opportunity for her. I was insecure, frankly, and while it is very good for newlyweds to spend a lot of time together, I feel bad that she missed out on going to the Olympics.
Then it seemed unfathomable to me that she would go on a trip so soon after our wedding. Now it seems like I had the wrong perspective. It is interesting how time can help us see a situation so differently. In the summer of 1996, I thought I was right. Now as we near our 20th anniversary, I see things from a new viewpoint. As a result of my old way of thinking, my wife missed out on something big.
Have you missed out on something?
This week as we celebrate one of the most joyous days of the Christian year, Palm Sunday, we’re going to meet some people who missed out on something big. The scene in Luke 19:28-48 is one of boisterous joy. Jesus has finally made his way to the capital city of Jerusalem. The crowds cry out with praise for him, declaring him the king entering his royal city. We call this his Triumphal Entry. The scene has all the makings of a glorious ascension to the throne.
Except a couple things are really out of place. There are some oddities. First, the king, Jesus, is riding a donkey. Not too majestic, is it? And second, the religious leaders, rather than praising the king like everyone else, are confronting him, telling him to get his followers to pipe down. Third, the king is weeping. Those are not happy tears either. He is distraught on what could be his coronation day. Did the crowds notice? Did they find it odd?
A king riding a donkey, facing jeers, and crying. What gives?
What gives was a missed opportunity.
Join us at Faith Church on Sunday to discover what Jesus was so upset about, what the missed opportunity was, and perhaps this story may help you avoid missing out too.