Going for gold!
As February ended, so too did the 23rd Winter Olympics. It has provided some memorable scenes. Perhaps you remember the amazing 1218 illuminated drones for the opening ceremony flying above the darkened slopes and morphing into the iconic intertwined rings, or the remarkable images of athletes from two Koreas marching as one into the stadium under a flag of unification, or maybe the German and Canadian two-man bobsleigh teams both winning gold medals after posting exactly the same time.
It often seems that Olympians are a breed set apart. Certainly, their training, dedication and relentless focus appears beyond most of us normal mortals. Yet I think we can all learn a lot from their experiences. Here’s just a flavour of some of the inspiring quotes I’ve heard over the years: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed,” (Double Olympic basketball champion Michael Jordan); Nadia Comaneci, gold-medal gymnast said, “I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet,” and Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time said, “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get.”
Interestingly, the Bible too is packed with inspirational verses that speak of the kind of training and discipline required to become a victor:
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” Heb 12:11-13
“If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.” 2 Tim 2:5
“All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Cor 9:25-27
I may never get to stand on an Olympic podium or have the physique and speed of Usain Bolt, but after being inspired by amazing sportsmen and women, I want to commit again to press ahead into all that God has for me and our church family, losing any spiritual flab, and toning those spiritual muscles!
St Paul says in Philippians, ”I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Have a great March, love Tim, Sarah, Ellie, Sam and Jo
Priest in Charge Loves church pioneering, family, guitars, Macs, jeeps and Jesus, not necessarily in that order...