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Photo British Athletics

"Lord, I don't ask that I should win, but please, please don't let me finish behind Akabusi."

Innocent Egbunike's prayer at the 1988 Olympics

Peace 2

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

I don’t think there has ever been a year when we felt more in need of peace in the uncertainty about everything that surrounds us. In the past weeks I have interviewed a number of athletes about the challenges of training without knowing if there would be any competitions this year. It has almost been “always winter but never Christmas*”. The past few months have been hard for everyone and it looks as if it is only going to get harder.

It is very significant that Jesus distinguishes His peace from the world. There are many great things that this world can offer. I have so many memories of different human experiences but they are all temporary. Jesus offers God’s peace that will last forever.

We are sometimes told “Don’t worry” but actually worrying and being anxious is the natural reaction to human difficulties. And being told “Don’t worry” doesn’t help.

Jesus tells is not to be troubled and not to be afraid because God is in control. God can give us peace because He knows how it will end. And He has promised that if we believe in Him we will live forever with Him.

Don’t read this as a super-spiritual reflection. I have struggled a lot this year not being able to attend an athletics meet since February. I desperately want the 2020 Olympics – and the whole 2020 programme - to take place. But even if it does not, I can experience God’s peace because I know that He is in control.

*C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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