Spiritual view: 'The spiritual life is not a walk in the park'

Great Britain's Sky Brown during a run before going on to win bronze in the Women's Park Final at Ar

Sky Brown won a bronze medal for Team GB in skateboarding at the 2020 Olympics - Credit: PA

As I write the Olympics have just taken place.

When you read this, athletes will be undertaking final preparations for the Paralympics.

As perhaps the least sporty person in the world, I am completely in awe of the achievements of all these participants.

To be able to run that fast, jump that high, make one’s body undertake those manoeuvres, persuade a boat or a horse to move in that way has always seemed to me to be totally miraculous.

Rev Janet Buchan of St Paul's Vicarage is observing Lent.

Janet Buchan is 'in awe' of the achievements of all the Olympic participants - Credit: Archant

This time around I have been particularly struck by some of the stories behind these achievements.

Just two examples: Sky Brown, the 13-year-old bronze medal winner in women’s park skateboarding who, last year, suffered a fall during training leading to multiple fractures and internal injuries; and Tom Pidcock, who won the gold medal in men’s cross-country mountain biking after breaking a collarbone in training just two months ago.

It must take enormous courage and dedication to go on training and competing after setbacks like that.

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The New Testament makes several comparisons between the life of an athlete and the spiritual journey.

The spiritual life is not a walk in the park, though there is much to be enjoyed and savoured.

It requires determination and perseverance, as we seek to go on being transformed into the people God has made us to be, learning and being strengthened by the challenges along the way.

Let us garner our courage, be inspired by those around us and persevere.

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