The Church Column with Rev David Everett

Rev David Everett.
Rev David Everett.

It is very difficult at the moment to turn on the television or open a newspaper without being confronted by the ups and downs of our athletes in Rio.

Whilst at the point I am writing this we have not got to the point of the races where running is involved we have witnessed some amazing performances from our Team GB competitors.

All Saints Church, Market Weighton, on Londesborough Road.

All Saints Church, Market Weighton, on Londesborough Road.

So far we have won golds in the canoeing, cycling, diving and swimming together with 12 more silver and bronze medals.

When we hear of the effort and dedication they put into preparing for these events it is truly humbling, witnessing the tears of joy from the athletes when they win and tears of despair when things don’t go as they had hoped for.

I think it is easy for all of us to get involved in the struggles of the competitors particularly for the sports we are interested in whether that be the gymnastics, or the rowing and white-water canoeing, or in the team sports like the rugby 7s.

I believe that the excitement of these events is infectious! Most of us will have seen the film Chariots of Fire and seen the struggles of those athletes which were not just on the running track.

In that film Eric Liddell who had been selected to run in the 100 metres race at the 1924 Paris Olympics finds out that the race is to be run on a Sunday.

As a Christian this was a challenge to his faith and he refused to run because of this, not the sort of challenge he expected to meet at the Olympic Games. The apostle Paul also talks about his life as a Christian in terms of running the race.

But the race he is talking about is the one to win people for God, showing them that God loves them.

He also says to the people in Corinth that to do that you must be disciplined and dedicated to the cause just as we have seen in the best athletes at the Games.

The race that Paul is talking about is a race for life, not only our own but also for others, too!