I am writing this a few hours after two very contrasting events at the Rio Olympics.
Adam Peaty has just won Britain’s first gold of the Olympics in a new world-record time and by doing so became the first British man for 28 years to win an Olympic swimming gold. At around the same time, World No.1 Novak Djokovic lost in the first-round of the tennis and left the court in tears. Their contrasting emotions reminded me of the line from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, which is inscribed above the entrance to Centre Court at Wimbledon. It reads: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same…”. That might be a great quote from a wonderful poem, but it’s surely incredibly difficult to treat a first-round defeat and an Olympic gold as ‘just the same’.
At the start of a new academic year some of you will be changing schools, moving on to higher education and starting new jobs. Doubtless too some of you reading this will be struggling to find work or going through other difficulties. How can we treat starting a new school / job or failing to find a job as ‘just the same’? I don’t underestimate how hard this is (and I don’t know how Kipling expected his readers to do this), however, for me, my Christian belief is definitely the answer. Whatever might happen in my life I know that Jesus Christ has won the ultimate victory – death itself and all the powers of darkness have been defeated. This knowledge enables me to begin to treat triumph and disaster as impostors and to treat them just the same.
Whether you are currently enjoying triumph or struggling with disaster you are welcome to join us at St. Peter’s or your local church. If you would like us to pray for you about anything at all, please let me know, or complete one of the cards available in St. Peter’s, which is open every weekday from 10.30am to 12.30pm until the end of this month. As always, please remember you are all welcome at any of our services at St. Peter’s – details are here or give me a call.
With my prayers.
Read this article in the Yaxley Gazette.