01/08/2016 From the Minister’s Sporting Knowledge (this won’t take long)
Did I see Mo Farrah, or Bradley Wiggins or Andy Murray? Well, let me come back to that in a moment. Now the 2012 Olympics got more people running; cycling has definitely been more evident since London. The awareness and appreciation of para sporting events has been vastly increased. So which of the many sporting events did I watch again.
Well none of those. At the time I saw some of them but not in my recent viewing. Instead I watched a few minutes of the opening ceremony on YouTube. Do you remember how everyone said the Olympics would be an embarrassment, they said it would be a flop and we would win nothing. We had had recession and, just a year before, there had been rioting on the streets of London. Mercifully through all this a dedicated group of people had worked hard to deliver the Games. They did it on a much smaller budget than Beijing had commanded and ours shaped up well. It was well regarded, we won a number of medals and it was one of the friendliest games in history and the facilities for all were a credit to the land.
We showed the world a welcoming face and we were happy to include people of all backgrounds, abilities and colours. We quietly stated we were not looking for differences – we were all invited to see individuals. One of the main stays of the event and the triumph of the planners were the volunteers. They represented our diverse culture, heritage and makeup as the United Kingdom. They showed what was possible when people are people and not categorised or excluded. It was quite moving.
One of the first things that happened at the opening was the singing of a verse from four hymns from around the United Kingdom. They were not the only hymns in the evening. They joined other snap shots of British history and culture. The event was a moving and uplifting piece that gave welcome. It said who we were and how we got to this point.
Where do you think we stand at this moment in time.
Christ is keen on reflection, he asks us to examine ourselves and see if there are things that need adjusting or repenting from in life. He asks us about our care for others and our ability to live with one another.
Were we so different four years ago or were the Games just froth and bubble created by media types. The fact it was here and not Paris or wherever perhaps made us less subjective but we joined in with the moment. And we did this not long after the riots and recession. And it united the country
I leave you to ponder for the summer where we stand in comparison as a nation. I am reminded of a hymn rather than a bible verse.
lift up thine eyes and seek his face;
life with its way before us lies,
Christ is the path and Christ the prize.”
From the hymn ‘Fight the good fight’ before your rack your brains
Have a great Summer