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Rector's Letter - July 2012

Dear Friends,

And now it is the Olympics (and of course the Knockholt Carnival on the same theme)! People are at last beginning to get excited about the Olympics, despite the lack of tickets and the disruption it is going to cause. But the Olympic Games are an inspiring event. Seeing the amazing achievements of athletes who are the best in the world, the awe-inspiring potential of human beings!

But success doesn't come easily. It only happens with single-minded dedication to a punishing training routine, which must completely take over peoples' lives. How do they do it? It is all down to the mind. To have a clear view of aiming for that medal, and being prepared to focus their lives on that goal with unbending determination.

St Paul, in 1 Corinthians 9, contrasts the determination of an athlete aiming for a prize, with many people's attitude to that much more important "race", life itself. It is so easy to drift along in life, with no clear aim, swept along by the sheer busyness of things. Before you know it, another year has gone! Like St Paul, perhaps we could learn from the Olympic athletes and their clear vision of a goal, and the dedication to achieving it.

But, thank goodness, this need not be too strenuous. In fact, quite the opposite. Sometimes we just need to stop, and reflect on life. What are the really important things? What are the goals, the "prizes" I am aiming for?

It is good to stop and reflect on life. And when we do stop to think, we realise that we have so much to be thankful for. Yes, there are always sad and bad times in life, but for most of us, we are so greatly blessed in so many ways. It is so easy to take it all for granted.

Life is a wonderful gift! Every day is precious, a gift to be enjoyed and lived to the full. Like an athlete, we will get the most out of life by focussing on our goals, the important things in life; family and friends, making a difference for good, living a balanced and healthy lifestyle, valuing other people and the world around us, and of course, not taking ourselves too seriously! Life is meant to be enjoyed! We can waste so much time and effort in worrying over the less important things. Set your sights on your goals and "Go for Gold"!

A big factor in all this is how we understand why we are here on earth in the first place. A Christian's life should be understood and shaped in relation to the final goal for which we have been made and redeemed. The more we understand that goal, the "prize" that St Paul aims for, the more determined we will become to "run that race" with perseverance... and joy!

With every good wish for the Carnival... and the Olympics!

With my love and prayers,
Yours in Christ, John.

Verse for the Month

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-5