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Janet’s letter to the Community
As I write the Olympics are taking place. As always, I find myself in awe of the accomplishments of these athletes; whether it’s speed, or flexibility, or strength, coupled with the mental focus and quick-thinking that’s required to make the right decisions at the right time to achieve amazing results.
I’m even more impressed as I watch this time around because, rather to my surprise, I’ve started running. When I say “running”, it’s nothing that Mo Farrah or Kelly Holmes would recognise as “running”, but I do move faster than a walk! I started about 2 months ago and I’m following a National Health Service programme called “Couch to 5K”. It offers a series of podcasts that take the real beginner – like me – from very short runs of 60 seconds followed by 90 seconds of walking, through gradually longer periods of running with shorter walking recovery breaks, to a run this morning of 25 minutes! It does feel miraculous. I have never been a runner, and I always thought I couldn’t do it.
So there’s something about just “giving it a go” that is essential for success. There’s also appropriate planning: having the right shoes that will help to avoid injury, and finding the safest place to run. And then there’s simple perseverance: getting out and doing it even after a late night, or before a busy day when there’s a temptation to think that the time would be better spent doing something else. Of course, I haven’t really faced the harder tests so far. I started at the beginning of the summer. Whether I’ll have as much commitment in the winter when it’s cold and wet I can’t be sure. I’ll let you know!
St Paul compared the spiritual life to the life of an athlete. He commended a willingness to train, perseverance and self-discipline. God loves us whoever we are, and whatever we do. His commitment to us is unconditional and his forgiveness total. There is nothing we can do to make us love him more. Our best response? To seek to be worthy of that love – not to earn it, but to be worthy of it – by working at developing our character and our openness to God, fostered by a life of prayer and service. If you would like help in finding aids to prayer that work for you, or if you are looking for opportunities to serve others, in the church, in the local community or beyond, please get in touch. I would love to talk with you!
With every blessing,