Did you watch Penny Oleksiak's final strokes as she won silver in the 100m Women's Butterfly race? This talented 16-year-old from Toronto says she had come to the 2016 Olympics with modest goals, but she didn't just show up and observe.
Penny became a winner for Canada. Her silver was the second medal clanking around her neck as a journalist interviewed her shortly after her butterfly swim. Young Penny admitted she had tried not to set her hopes too high. Former Olympian swimmers understand how big a win this is for Oleksiak.
While some may wonder how this youthful stardom will affect Penny, Marianne Limpert, a former Olympian silver-medal swimmer, advises, "It's great to win a medal and it's a huge honour. But it doesn't really change anything. . . . Just keep everything grounded. . . . And just stay who you are."
Another rising star
David of Old Testament times also comes to mind as a young, ruddy-complexioned youth with an olympian spirit. If there had been a slingshot category, he would definitely have won. Instead David, Jesse's eighth and youngest son was chosen by God and anointed by Samuel to be the next King of Israel.
In spite of his love for God, David had his indiscretions. He did, however, go to God for forgiveness and guidance, when he had sinned. David has given us most of the Psalms--beautiful verses that speak to our hearts and teach us how to talk to God.
|A Raisin in the Sun|
The opening lines of a poem by Langston Hughes ask,
"What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?"
To read the rest of the poem, see
From this poem, Lorraine Hansberry borrowed A Raisin in the Sun as title for her play about a
In real life, Lorraine's father could afford to provide for his middle class family. When Lorraine was eight years old, the family moved to a cleaner, brighter, white neighbourhood. Carl Hansberry needed the help of white business colleagues to make the purchase. In the fifties and sixties, residents of a neighbourhood would sign covenants not to sell their homes to blacks. Still the Hansberry's faced court challenges, threats by white mobs, and a brick through their window.
"Mama" in the play wanted to better her family by moving into a white neighbourhood. One critic had written about "a happy ending" to the play, which amused Hansberry, who knew the story ended on an uncertain, unpromising note. The play was, after all, about dreams deferred.
To view the movie, see https://youtu.be/7dBIJqvAjTM
I think of Abraham and Sarah as the ultimate example of dreams deferred. Their dreams and God's promise had definitely been delayed. Sarah bore a child in her old age and Abraham did become the father of the Hebrew people as God had promised. Can you imagine their surprise? Joy? Praise?
What about writing dreams deferred?
Sometimes my writing dreams seem to be deferred. I take responsibility for that, but there often have been reasons. I've found out the hard way that I can't physically or mentally handle everything that lands on my platter. I need to choose more carefully and prayerfully about the choices I take from the banquet of life.
|Sometimes it's the words that count and not the word count.|
Dare I, like Paul, boast about my weakness so that Christ's power may rest on me? Being prone to depression when I overdo things doesn't sound like an olympian spirit, but perhaps it is. "For when I am weak, then I am strong," Paul says. Learning to live by faith and to stay close to God is what makes me stronger. My productivity in writing may rise and fall, but I will persevere. My dreams may be deferred, but not denied. I am not a raisin in the sun.