Thursday, August 9, 2012

How Does God Choose?

douglas.jpgThe question asked on Facebook was why some people found it off-putting that Gabby Douglas, America's awesome gymnast, gave the credit for her talent to Jesus.

I have to say I do find this penchant of some athletes to offer thanks to God (think also of Tim Tebow) for their success to be somewhat off-putting. It makes me curious about how they think God/Jesus decides these things. There must be thousands of young girls who aspire to be gold medal-winning athletes and even more thousands of boys who dream of playing pro football. What criteria does God use when deciding whom to choose to be the beneficiary of these gifts? Giving thanks to Jesus is cloaked as humility but in reality, there is some arrogance in assuming that of all the beseechers out there God picked you. Why? Did those others not pray hard enough? Did they not measure up in some way that caused Him to pass them by?

I'd honestly rather think that Gabby Douglas' remarkable ability and success was due to her own drive and hard work than that God picks winners and losers in this deliberate way. Or that He simply draws spiritual straws, so to speak.

And it makes you wonder - why is He so concerned with football or gymnastics, which are relatively unimportant events in the cosmic scheme of things, when there are so many awful things going on in this world? Shouldn't He turn his attention to the children who are cold and hungry and abused rather than imbuing one with the skill to make a touchdown and another to vault into the air. Shouldn't He maybe have had a closer eye on Penn State if He's such a sports fan?

Don't get me wrong. I love the Olympics and I loved watching Gabby show her stuff. I cheered her incredible performance and smiled through my tears at her joy. But, still, I'd prefer to believe God didn't have that much to do with it.