Monday, August 15, 2016

Going for Gold

The amazing efforts of all medal-winning athletes and sportsmen and women is filling our TV screens and dominating our newspapers at the time of writing. Rio 2016 is proving to be a good year for our Team GB, now second in the long list of medal winning nations. But repeated over and over is the mantra that these Games are only the tiny summit of a huge mountain of training, preparation and commitment. I was listening to an interview on BBC Radio 4 this morning and heard a remarkable few sentences from one of the coaches working with the British Cycling team and Sir Bradley Wiggins in particular. He said that without commitment of the highest order, none of these participants would go home with a medal.

Commitment is what gets them up every morning long before the rest of us, to train, exercise and prepare. Then, after a full days work in most cases, it is their high level of commitment to achieve their Olympic gold, that gets them out to train in the evenings also. It must be a lonely road in order to prepare properly for these few days of competition, as others may not share or appreciate the single minded devotion to their sport that they must show.

One of the early leaders of the Christian faith urged those who follow Christ to recognise that they are in a race or are competing to win in life.  Winning may not have the glamour of the Olympic podium or win the applause of others, but it will only happen when a life is lived with a clear-cut commitment to a cause outside of oneself. Maybe we need a commitment check-up right now?

We have seen the look of utter exhaustion but also of ecstasy on the faces of medal winners as they meet the goal for which they have been committed for so long. I wonder what our faces would reflect if we are truly committed to do God's will and serve his purpose in our time? In fact, I wonder what our churches would look like where a majority shared a level of commitment that would not settle for second best?  I may be down at the moment, like Mo Farah in the final of the 10,000 meters, but I am determined not to stay down! The glint of life's greatest gold beckons me on!