Have you been watching the Olympics?
Personally, I am not sporty or active at all - unless you count walking, gardening and yoga! However, I have found it inspirational watching the individual men and women put their all into their chosen sport and I have often joined them in their tears of ‘success’ or ‘failure’.
Somehow, it is the personal stories that touch me the most – their background, their relationships, how they see themselves as ordinary people yet we see them doing extra-ordinary things. Which, simply by being qualified to be there, they are.
It has made me reflect …
What inspires me? What inspires you? Is there something that you put your heart and soul into, like these Olympians? Is there something you are so dedicated to, that nothing else gets in the way?
I once went to a talk by Gerald Jampolsky and his wife Diane, where they described our desire to know God as being at its most powerful and effective when we are driven to focus on God to the same degree as when we need a toilet if we have diarrhoea!
We all laughed rather nervously at the time – but this talk was over 20 years ago and I have never forgotten those words. The Olympians remind me of this focus and drive. It asks of me, do I have the same focus and desire to know ‘God and I are indeed one’ as Jesus taught? Honestly, sometimes it is yes and sometimes it is no. I think that is a very human and normal response – even as a minister in Unity.
What helps inspire me to know our oneness with God? The human stories, the interactions, the struggles and amazing actions so many take, even though life feels so hard at times. This along with my desire to invite people into the experience that they are loved no matter what. Plus, the knowledge that we all have within us limitless potential, because all of God is always flowing in, through and as us. As Unity Minister Eric Butterworth taught, we can discover and use the power within. Of course, we only experience this to the degree that we recognise, claim it and allow it. Like the Olympians. So let us allow ourselves to experience this with all our heart, mind and body.
One of the real-life stories that touched me was watching Tom Daley win gold in the 10m synchronised dive with Matty Lee. The BBC spoke to Tom’s husband afterwards. Lance described how he told Tom, when he did not get gold at the Rio Olympics and Tom felt devastated by this, that it would enable him to get gold in Tokyo and that his son would watch him do this. Their son did and at three years old, he kept saying, so proud of daddy, so proud of daddy. It was beautiful.
So what is my message here today? Do not give up. Whatever you are striving to know and do, do it with all your heart, mind and soul, like the Olympians. When it feels like we fail, we don’t really. It is simply a step on the journey to success. Moreover, as Daily Word reminded us recently, we are on a journey back to God, from a place we never left. We have already won.