DLS Consulting


It was twenty-two years ago and my first chance to experience the Olympic Games.  The people of Calgary left town so that people coming to their city for the 1988 winter games could stay in their homes. We were given a bag of engraved pins that had silly bull logos to represent Merrill Lynch, my company, and we were told how much fun we could have trading them with total strangers. This tradition started with the athletes who traded their event pins with other athletes in the Olympic Village and then spread to all attendees who wanted to get into the Olympic spirit.

My first pin exchange was with another novice who had a bag full of pins from ABC Broadcasting who was representing his company. I asked if he would like to trade for a “bull pin” and he said yes since he hadn’t traded with anyone else and needed to get rid of some ABC pins or his company exec’s would think he is not mingling properly.  Within days I became emboldened to approach everyone and anyone to foist my supply of “bull pins” for an array of alien corporate logo metal that could be pinned on my shirt. It didn’t take long for all the type “A” personalities to see how many pins and how prestigious, unique, and valuable pins could be accumulated.  My prize pin was to find a Jamaican Bobsled pin early in the week before it became a hot item. But my real target was to get a Russian Hockey team pin.

Then came the day when we met an East German athlete on the streets of Calgary. He was quite despondent and I discovered he had competed in the biathlon. By now my technique was down to just showing all my available bull pins and hope that someone would take them off my hands.  He pulled nine or ten pins from his logo uniform and held them out to me as if to say, take anyone you want.  Seeing a pin that had never shown up before, it was a picture of a skier competing in the biathlon. I asked if that would be ok with him. He said sure, no problem. I was delighted and even more so when he seemed pleased to have one of my pins with the male bovine on the face of it. An observer came up to me and informed me that the young man was favored to win his event but came in fourth and would face severe criticism back home for not performing better.

When I realized that this was his “event pin” I went back to him and tried to return it to him. If this were me, I knew that I would want this at some point in my life. He would not take it back and insisted that it was better for me to have it.  The symbol of how we place unreasonable levels of importance on sports is not lost to any of us during a week like Super Bowl week.  A new winter Olympics is about to start up and after that there will be March Madness; NBA playoffs; and soon we will start the marathon season of baseball. What I have learned and what I wish to share with you is that it is important to keep perspective on what is important. Even at the highest level of sports and secular society, our orientation toward recognizing God’s presence and importance in our life trumps it all! 

 Luke 9:23-24 (NIV) “And he said to all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.”

Monday Morning Message Sent 2/8/10


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