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To win the prize for which God has called

Posted by John on Aug 1, 2012 in John Horton, Stourdene News

London 2012 banner at The Monument, by michaelpead.co.uk

By the time this is read the London 2012 Olympic Games will be well underway. Our athletes will join those from around the world in straining every muscle to achieve the best possible results in their chosen sport. For each of them the games will be the culmination of years of rigorous training. Whatever the results, each athlete will want to feel that they have given the very best of which they are capable. Resting on them will be the hopes and expectations of their country. Returning home with gold, silver of bronze medals will mean that they will become national heroes.

Paradoxically, as so many are straining to give their best in the Olympics, many of us will be trying to do just the opposite as we look to relax on our holidays either here or abroad. Some will want to crash out on a beach in the sun, others will be out seeing the sights and still more will want to walk, cycle, sail or ride. Others desire to study, but we will all wish to get away from our usual daily round.

In our busy and pressured world we value our holidays greatly and want to make the most of them whatever the weather. They are a real gift from God, a great opportunity to recharge our batteries ready for the months ahead.

Towards the end of August for those who feel sufficiently reinvigorated (but also for those who do not!) there will be the annual Stourdene Benefice Holiday Club running in Newbold Village Hall from Monday 20th; August to Wednesday 22nd August every morning. There will be need of helpers of all kinds and ages but there is space for children to join in the fun. If you are interested in helping or joining in please contact Cath Vickers (01789 748137) as soon as possible.

By September the holidays will be drawing to a close, schools will return, the harvest should be mostly gathered in and a new season will begin. There will be new classes to join, new schools and colleges to attend, new uniforms to wear, new crops to plant, new business opportunities to explore and a new 2016 Rio Olympiad to train for.

In the Benefice there is a group of young people preparing for their confirmation on Saturday 22nd; September (the venue for this has still to be decided) following several months of training and preparation. Like athletes they will be embarking on a life-long journey “to win the prize for which God has called” them through Christ Jesus (Philippians 3; 14). For adults there will also be a confirmation class starting this autumn and if you would like the challenge of pressing forward in your Christian faith do let me know so that we can fix the times and dates.

However, the chance to start new things should not be limited simply to a few younger people and athletes. We can all use the example of the Olympians to renew our commitment to mission and outreach in our parishes after all if you are sitting on your laurels you are wearing them in the wrong place!

John

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