Posted by: Mad Lamb | 12/08/2012

Winning or taking part?

After last weeks’ Super Saturday at the Olympics for Team GB, there was debate on the radio whether it’s better to win or appreciate taking part and doing your best.

In the first fews days, when the gold medals weren’t coming for British competitors, there was a large support for those who tried but didn’t succeed. They were commended on doing the best they could. However once the first gold appeared and others swiftly followed the focus changed. Those who came fourth or even third seemed to be relegated to those who were not good enough to mention. Team GB only had eyes for those who produced gold. I felt sorry for those in the latter days who really tried their best and were happy to know that they did enough to compete at that level. With the desire to achieve a better position on the Olympic medal table Team GB lost something.

In our life of faith, we are told to do the best and to live as God wants in our day-to-day lives. Yet we sometimes find that we start to concentrate on wanting to see ‘success’ on a frequent basis.  In the Lord’s Prayer we are told to ask for ‘daily bread’. When we pray how much of that is about day-to-day requirements and what starts to become a prayer for success in all kinds of things, even parking spaces.

I was hartened to see Tom Daley, the British diver, rejoice so much about getting a bronze medal. It would be great to regularly see others on screen being ovejoyed at being able to compete on an international stage without making any effect on the medal table.

The Olympic Movement promotes encouraging as many people to take part in sport without any discrimination yet the presence of medal tables and emphasis on breaking records overlooks many of those countries who paraded at the opening ceremony with only a few competitiors or those who did not have the financial support to ensure they were able to take a stand on an award podium.

In the same way there are many of us who will never claim international or national success for our faith journey yet can we rejoice every day that we are part of Team God? Can we be content to know that we do our best and and make the most of the gifts God gives each one of us?

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