The Olympics. It is the one fortnight every four years where almost everyone gets caught up in sport. Even my wife and daughters who just about cope with my sports obsession are not only watching but giving details of certain events, showing a little passion and giving a few cheers!
It is difficult not to be inspired. Interview after interview with exhausted athletes, sharing their stories of hard work to be here and get a medal. For some it is gold. For others a silver or a bronze is more than they ever dreamed of. For others just getting there is a lifetime’s ambition… and a lot of sacrifice and hard work.
I have been watching the Olympic Games since I was a 6 year old in 1968. I remember it being on in the early morning. My parents were athletes. I attended the Commonwealth Games as a 8 year old in 1970. The Olympics has been part of my life and even I have been more inspired and challenged than I ever have been before by the events in Rio.
I am coming out of a holiday period. My mind and heart and soul are beginning to think of my vocation. The cogs are getting back into gear. The question that comes back to me as I listen to the the interviews and commentaries of the Olympics is how dedicated am I prepared to be?
Our motto in Fitzroy is 10:10. It is my birthday and does suggest 100% but we use it because of Jesus words in The Gospel Of John chapter 10 verse 10 - “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” This summer in Arua, Uganda I had people chanting 10:10! Of course we believe that that fulness is the gift of God’s grace… but if we want to milk it… if we want to 10:10 that 10:10 then what if we showed the same commitment as Kenny, Trott, Grainger, Peaty, Farah, those Women's Hockey Players and don’t forget those O’Donovan brothers from Cork!
The apostle Paul’s take on all of this sport is recorded in 1 Corinthians 9:25 - “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
I have been working this week on a commissioned magazine article about U2’s 40th Anniversary. My research and planning have been more thorough as a result of these Games. Now for the new year in Fitzroy. Let’s give 10:10 to our 10:10 gift. Let’s give it everything and see what can be achieved!