He’s not the greatest

Usain BoltUsain Bolt has done it again. He strode into history with third straight Olympic 200-metre gold . The cameras zoomed in. The public address system announced his name. He did his little dance. And the crowd went wild.

For many, Bolt is a god. People love him. They adore him. He is the epitome of human strength, speed and power. And he knows it.

“I don’t need to prove anything else,” Bolt said. “What else can I do to prove to the world I am the greatest?”

Oh dear.  Is that what it’s all about? Proving to the world that you are the greatest? We’ve seen it all before, with the likes of Muhammad Ali and Pele, they reach the top of their game and attain world-wide fame. And then they spend the rest of their days basking in their hard-earned glory.

The truth of it all is Usain is not as fast as everyone thinks he is. Take a look at this visual guide I found:


I grabbed this from their post:

The world’s most extraordinary human runner would not beat, say, an ordinary warthog. A warthog can run around 30 miles per hour on an average day—no training, no audience, no special wind conditions. Housecats also regularly reach this speed, as do grizzly bears, rabbits, and white-tailed deer. The roadrunner can run 25 mph even though it can also fly. A certain class of butterflies, called skippers, can get up to 37.

The Olympics may have us all misty-eyed at the heights (and lengths, and speeds, and depths) of human achievement. But if we were ever to open the stadium gates to the whole animal kingdom, we’d quickly be put back in our place. I’m not even talking about those fancy calculated situations that try to make things physiologically fair, and thus prove that a human-sized ant could pick up a semi-truck with one leg, or that a human-sized flea could jump Big Ben.

So Usain is outclassed by a butterfly.  Seems that God has the last laugh.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m against great sporting achievements. My wife and I have recorded a number of our favourite olympic events. We enjoy watching the outcome of years of discipline, self-control, and fantastic coaching (coaches ought to be up there to receive medals as well). It’s just that we need to keep all things in perspective. Whenever we watch these stunning feats of human achievement and look with adoration as the athletes take the podium, we need to remember who made them and where their strength and speed and power comes from.

And a day is coming when they – along with all of us, will face the only One who can take the title “The Greatest”. And we will bow our knee in humble adoration. Willingly or unwillingly.

This is what the Lord says:
The wise man must not boast in his wisdom;
the strong man must not boast in his strength;
the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth.
But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows Me —
that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
(Jeremiah 9:23–24)

Put no more trust in man,
who has only the breath in his nostrils.
What is he really worth?
(Isaiah 2:22)

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