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Viewpoint from Isabela Clarry for 31st August 2012 


Isabella Clarry
Member of the Yarmouth Seventh-day Adventist Church, Burnt Lane, Gorleston
The nation’s attention has recently been captivated by the London Olympics. We can be proud of our ‘Team GB’ and the Prime Minister’s words atuntitled for web the day of the closing ceremony summarise well the efforts of British Athletes: ‘Britain delivered’.
For me it was fascinating to watch the Women’s Hurdles and to see the methods implored by the runners like Jessica Ennis in order to obtain the medal. Jessica seemed to know exactly what she wanted to achieve and what her aim was. She did not look at the hurdles on her way. She kept her eyes fixed on the finishing line. The concentration on her face was immense. It seemed as she knew that if she took her eyes of her goal and chose to concentrate on the hurdles instead, she would fall.
In this context it’s interesting what Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing” (2 Tim 4: 7-8, NLT)
Paul compares his life of faith to running a race. He says that there is a prize awaiting him at the second coming of Jesus - the crown of righteousness .
Paul says that he remained faithful to God whilst running the race. In the same way as Jessica Ennis had her eyes fixed on the finishing line, Paul must have had his eyes fixed upon Jesus. Although Paul had a fair amount of trails (hurdles) in his life, (Bible records that Paul was imprisoned for his faith, severely beaten, tried, and ultimately put to death) no trial could ever make him lose his faith and assurance in God. He was able to say with confidence: Dove right
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 37-39)
Paul states that unlike in an earthly competition, when there can only be one winner, we all can obtain the prize - a crown of righteousness, which is ultimately an eternal life – a prize far better than any gold medal that we can win here on Earth.
Let us not get discouraged by the hurdles that satan throws at us along the way, but let us keep trusting in Jesus, His love and faithfulness.