With a hundred nations competing and an estimated 2500 athletes ready to go the Winter Olympics begin in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang this week.
Sixteen days of competition with fifteen sports and top-notch athletes hoping to achieve new records of excellence. Along with the summer games, worldwide television enables us all to be spectators to these the greatest sporting events in the world.
It’s now over thirty years since Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the gold medal in the Sarajevo Olympics for their ‘Bolero’. – and the across the board highest possible score of ‘6.0’ remains one of the most memorable Olympic triumphs ever.
The joint North and South Korean’s women’s ice hockey team this year will be seen as a new era of sporting co-operation across political divides and that must be a good thing. Sporting achievements of excellence is, of course, at the heart of the games and with years of preparation and training there will be everything to play for.
The opening ceremony on Friday will mark the beginnings of those hopes and dreams – and what a feast of sport for the rest of us!
The Bible speaks much of those who ran the race of faith. Moses was aware of his inadequacy when the call came to challenge Pharaoh to release his people who for four hundred years had been held in slavery. The boy Samuel heard God’s call in the darkness of the night when the nation was at an all-time low.
David was moved to tackle Goliath by a step of faith that had the giant tumbling down.
They and many others lived and acted by faith and despite their weakness were faithful to the vision that God gave to them. That great baton of faith is passed on from one generation to the next as God continues to lead and inspire. It’s the same for us.
Our faith may be as small as a mustard seed with all sorts of doubts and uncertainties. It follows then that we need to increase our faith. We do this by prayer and worship as God reveals more of his love and purpose for our lives. Jesus invites us not so much to a race but rather a pilgrimage. Then with all who have lived by faith we too will gain the greatest prize – life in its fullness both now and for eternity.