Our Pastors Blog
I recently asked the question what inspired you about the Olympic Games, the replies were varied, diving, gymnastics, the hockey, Mo Faro falling and then getting up to win the race etc. It was a truly wonderful games and the back stories of the efforts required to achieve these standards were inspiring. Contrast this with a phone item on Radio 2 whilst we were driving on holiday. A sport's journalist claimed that only winning Gold mattered and everything else was second rate. Eddie the eagle did his best to respond, but the damage was done.
Contrast such a view with a famous back story of the 1968 Mexico Olympics and the long distance runner John Stephen Akhwari from Tanzania. Seriously injured after a fall less than half way through the marathon and contrary to medical advice he insisted on finishing the race, part walking, part limping and part running. When it was all over he was famously asked why he kept on running to which he replied,
"My country did not send me 10,000 miles just to start the race, they sent me to finish the race".
This amazing effort has earned him the title of the 'Greatest last place ever', despite the view of the sports journalist previously mentioned I find this truly inspiring.
The BBC Get inspired website encouraging involvement with sports we might not normally consider has also been a real encouragement to many and in just a few days time I will be inspired again by the skill, courage and determination of the para Olympians.
Despite all this feast of sport, I need to say that after 45 years of trying my best to be a follower of Jesus Christ, I still find Jesus the most inspiring influence on my life. In following Jesus it easy to get knocked of the track, to get distracted, even to stop running. If that's you, let me encourage you to get started again, to put your efforts into finishing the race. Towards the end of his life the apostle Paul clearly understood the importance of this when he said,
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 NIV
Let John Stephen Akhwari be your encouragement, to let Jesus be your inspiration.