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Olympic Faith

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 5 August 2012

The Games are upon us and what a joy they are. Team Caspari hit the park on Monday, starting very early and finishing very late. Every moment was pure pleasure and we took pride at seeing our home city doing such a wonderful job.

I have no idea how many medals the spirited Team GB will have won by the time you are reading this but I am also clear that the number doesn’t really matter. As Jacques Rogge, the President of the IOC put it to the athletes at the opening ceremony: ‘Honour is determined not by whether you win, but by how you compete. Character counts far more than medals.’

Watching the games I often ponder the disappointment of those young athletes beaten in the first heat or knocked out of the Judo in the first minute of the first bout. What a let down after all that work and training. However on the whole they are not too downcast. The overwhelming majority of competitors will not win a medal or even reach the final. Those who won last time or have been tipped for Gold may well not win. What they all do is run the race. That is the source of their pride.  In that lies their honour.

It is true for us too. Faith is a struggle. We will not score a perfect 10 in always keeping God’s commandments. God loves us for who we are, struggling as we do to be just a little bit better day by day. The invitation to Communion we use is often paraphrased. The call to ‘come to this table’ is issued to:

‘… all of us who have tried to follow Jesus and all of us who have failed’

Thank God that for him I don’t have to win Gold but merely have to struggle to the starting line and give it a go day by day.

Andrew Caspari