God's sovereignty doesn't score the Olympics
David Boudia, US Olympic diver, said last night in his NBC interview that he was okay with his poor performance in the Olympic prelims because he knows that God is Perfect and Sovereign. So, this may be the rant that officially requires apologies later. But I'm watching the Olympics on the couch, and my ipad is right here in my lap.
Here it is: fatalism is not submitting to the sovereignty of God. Speaking as if our action in the world does not matter is not submitting to the sovereignty of God. This is not how the Bible talks about the King of the world and our place.
We live in a created universe where our human actions have had both sinful and redemptive effects. When we do evil, or are even are simply poor at diving, there are consequences. When we do good, even simply choosing a soft answer which turns away anger—there are results.
What we do matters.
So I guess what I mean is, the accomplished David Boudia nearly was eliminated from the 2012 US Olympics because he struggled with his execution. And I don't think God was Willing the judges down by a couple points.
The fear I sometimes hear from my Reformed friends is that this view is going to somehow heretically destroy a God who is Above All. Who is the rightful King. And who Sovereignly Works All Things Together for those who love the Lord.
It does no such thing.
I am confident in a King who made the foundations of the earth. Who has put himself into the human story to dramatically change the whole course of history. Who is making all things right, and will finish it.
But like Aslan aside frozen Narnia, all is not right in this world. Some follow the King, and some don't. Aslan is not far away—never far away—but betrayal and death and failure happen. And these are because of what we do. Cause and effect are not only real in physics class. (( I'm taking some lightly phrased snipes here, but if you care, I'd more begin a more precise articulation philosophically as a collapse of particular causes into the telic; or theologically as a popular misunderstanding of concurrent sovereignty, which I affirm in its lighter forms ))
Of course, David didn't miss dives because of moral failure: that's not at all my thought. Let's also say that I'm happy for his faith in God and witness to it. But the God who loves him also didn't guarantee his 18th/18 spot for the final Olympic final. David did that because his entry on dive 3 hit the "red" zone on the Splash-o-Meter.
And God remained King.