EVEN the least likely of us for running in a race could not help but be aware of the Olympics.
Even I, who gave up athletics at the age of eight after a school sports day relay race made me realise that my future did not lie in running races, could not fail to sense some of the wonder for those who have striven so hard to reach this level of sporting skill.
How tremendous for those who have won gold! At least, for this year’s Olympics I have the satisfaction of knowing that I was able to ring the church bell in Chirnside at 8am on July 27 to mark the beginning of this great event!
What is important for all those in sports is the challenge to win. We cannot all be winners, of course, but we can all feel the desire to win. When we think about life and people around us these days we realise that many of us have lost the desire to win.
By contrast life can become a most wonderful experience when lived for a purpose beyond the obvious and the immediate. The life of faith delivers just such a dynamic.
Faith transforms all our goals in life because of the promise to “win the prize” of love for God and love for one another.
The unknown writer to the Hebrews wrote: “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Clearly this writer knew something of the “Olympics” of the ancient world and how it might apply to the life of faith. May all of us become real winners in life through our faith in God.