As a Brit it is very difficult not to be inspired by the efforts of our Olympians. They have been excelling themselves. While it is true that many of our successes have come in sports where you sit down (cycling, rowing, sailing, equestrian, canoeing…) that is not the whole story. Nor does the Medal Table tell the whole story.
It does not tell of the athletes who gave four years of blood, sweat and tears just to participate.
It does not tell of those who may not have achieved Olympic greatness but are still the best in the country (very few of us are even the best in our street!).
It does not tell of the pride of parents, relatives and friends that the individual they know and love has been a part of this special event.
It does not tell of the hard work that has been put in by coaches, physios, equipment designers…
It does not tell of the work that has gone in to design and build the venues.
It does not tell of the thousands of willing volunteers who are helping.
And that list does not tell the whole story.
There are many people who work behind the scenes in our lives too.
Parents, family members and friends who love, support and encourage us.
The people who work behind the scenes to ensure (as far as possible) that wages / pensions / benefits reach us.
The people who grow, harvest, process, distribute and sell the food we eat.
The people who pray for us.
The people who have taught us and helped us in the past whose names and faces are blurred in our memory.
The people who go out of their way to be kind to us, who open a door for us, who let us pull out in a gap in the traffic in our cars, who smile at us…
On Sunday morning I suggested that we can learn a lot from the old hymn: “Count your blessings, name them one by one.”
How awesome would that list be? It would be a cause for an attitude of gratitude and thanks to God for all that he has given us and done for us. If it helps, think of yourself being given an award by God for your life and write an acceptance speech thanking all who have helped you. (Tears optional!)
And if you are struggling, look in your imagination to a desolate hill on the outskirts of a city where an innocent man is hanging from a cross crying, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing!” and “It is finished!”
Be blessed, be a blessing.
It all depends on how you look at things…
A Southern Baptist minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars.
The first worm was put into a jar of alcohol.
The second worm was put into a jar of cigarette smoke.
The third worm was put into a jar of chocolate syrup.
The fourth worm was put into a jar of good clean soil.
At the conclusion of the Sermon, the Minister reported the following results:
The first worm in alcohol – Dead.
The second worm in cigarette smoke – Dead.
Third worm in chocolate syrup – Dead.
Fourth worm in good clean soil – Alive.
So the Minister asked the congregation, “What can you learn from this demonstration?”
A little old woman in the back quickly raised her hand and said, “As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won’t have worms.”