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Run The Race (05-01-23)

Follow The Star: An Invitation to Run the Race

Today's reflection is written by Anne Wafula Strike, MBE, athlete, author and sporting ambassador.


When I was born in rural Kenya, my father felt sure I was destined to achieve great things so he gave me the second name, ‘Olympia’, after the home of the ancient Greek gods and of the famous sporting competition.

Though after I contracted polio at the age of two and was left paralysed from the waist downwards, no one imagined I would go on to win any races.

The years that followed included many struggles to take part in things many of my able-bodied peers took for granted: education, social life, romance, parenthood. During all these my father would always encourage me to focus, not on my problems, but on my achievements: the obstacles I had, with encouragement and support from my family, teachers and friends, already overcome.

Bible Reading: Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that cling so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith who, for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding his shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God


It's hard to persevere in the face of suffering and setbacks, but almost everyone who has achieved something great in life has faced struggles and obstacles along the way. Today's reading encourages us to remember that we're not alone in our struggles. Not only are we surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, those who've gone before, and travel alongside us, we also have the example of Jesus, who endured so much suffering along his path to glory.

After many setbacks and much heartache, effectually I did fulfil my father's Olympic dreams for me, competing in wheelchair racing at the Paralympics in Athens, and going on to win bronze in the World Cup in Manchester. How did I make it to the finish line? Through trusting in God. With the support of my family. And by never giving up.


Whatever struggles or worries you may be facing as this New Year begins, why not spend some time remembering the struggles you have come through? And place your future in God's hands.


Jesus, be near anyone who feels they can't go on today.

Help us all to look to you for inspiration and hope, whatever lies ahead of us.


Unto us a boy is born

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