Running the Race

I’m so proud to introuduce this guest post from my friend,Liz Lovell. Some great thoughts for us all on what we can learn from the Olympics…Happy Reading!…

Like many others, I have been glued to the TV over the past few days watching the Olympics – London 2012!

Sometimes, the tension is too much and I view through my fingers or even block out the sound, although I am not sure how that actually helps.  Waterproof mascara has been a great help as I have imagined how it must feel to be a ‘winning parent or family member’ and as I have seen the flags of winning nations being raised and the national anthems played.

Without fail, each medal winner pays tribute to to the many people who have contributed to their victory- their family, the supporting and coaching team and the crowds who have cheered them on.   So, as a Brit, do I feel Andy Murray’s pain at Wimbledon this year? Yes, I cheered him on. Do I have a small part share in Jessica Ennis ‘s victory? Yes!

Clearly, I have not done any of the hard work of training, but when I actively support someone in their race, then I can more fully take part in the joy of their achievement.

When athletes race on home ground and are cheered on by their home crowd, they have an advantage- they know that the wall of sound on either side is for them. This urges them on, helping them to kick into the final stretch.

So what does this say to me about the Christian life and the life of discipleship?

As families we need to make sure that we are encouraging and cheering each other on.  As households, we support with wisdom and encouragement the younger runners who are doing a new thing and setting new records. As communities in mission we support the training of younger athletes.

And as crowds? We create a wall of sound on the sides of the track to give our athletes the home advantage. We share in the pain, we rejoice in the victory. We can say, ‘ We were there!’

‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.’

Hebrew 12:1 NLT

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