Citius. Altius. Fortius. It is the Olympic motto which in Latin means Faster, Higher and Stronger. This was literally on display during the Summer Olympics at Rio, where the hunt was on for the superlatives.
Despite many controversies in the run up to the Olympics, the Rio organizers managed to pull it off. The sight of the first ever refugee team, marching under the Olympic flag, was heart warming. There were stellar performances by some athletes. Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps continued to amaze with their superhuman strides! Simone Biles was a phenomenon in gymnastics. As for India, it was three women athletes who made the country proud.
We are fascinated by the greatest. At Rio, many old records were broken and new ones made; but most of them will be broken in the years to come. So as the Olympic bandwagon moves to Tokyo for the next showdown in 2020, it is worthwhile to ponder over the word superlative. What are the the greatest things we can ever experience in our lives? Is it a record breaking performance? A dream career or wedding? The Bible sheds light onto four such superlatives.
Firstly, the greatest truth in the universe is that it has a creator.
We live in an ordered, precisely accurate and meaningful universe intricately woven by an intelligent designer. King David, filled with awe at what he saw, sang, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” There is no greater truth than the existence of a God who made all that we can and cannot see.
Secondly, the greatest knowledge man can ever acquire is the knowledge of this Creator.
The Bible says, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” We will never be able to understand the reason for our existence, till we know the God who gave us life.
Thirdly, the greatest relationship man can ever be in is a love relationship with his Creator.
The Bible is a story of the creator God stepping down in the form of man, extending his hands of friendship to a rebellious and sinful mankind. The Bible says “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.” This relationship is what makes everything else meaningful.
Finally, the greatest achievement of any man is to know and do the will of God.
We may have many goals and dreams about our lives, but all of them will seem so finite and insignificant if we could have a glimpse of what God has in store for us. The Bible reminds us to “trust in the LORD, and do good” because all our choices have eternal consequences.
You might have noticed that the four greatest things I mentioned are like four stages in a journey. Once we open our hearts to accept the greatest truth about the existence of a living God, we can grow in our knowledge about him through the Bible, where he has revealed himself. As we get to know God more, we can enter a relationship with him through Jesus and live a meaningful life, doing his will.
As we celebrate the great victories of our athletes, may we not miss out on the greatest things in life.
*Psalms 19:1 | ** Proverbs 9:10 | ***1 John 3:1 | ****Psalms 37:3