I went for my first jog in a while this morning, inspired by the Olympics. I've had to accept that I'm never going to be the next Mo Farah. Now you might think that's obvious, what with me being an 18 stone, 46 year old, white bloke with a full head of hair!
But that's not my biggest problem. My biggest problem is that I can't get Mo's philosophy of life to work.
After his triumph in the 5,000m he told the BBC commentator that he was fulfilling his dreams. He said anyone who determinedly set out to achieve their dreams could do so. I can't.
My dream is to be the loving, gentle, kind man that I'd like to be. I'd like to treat other people in the way that I want to be treated. But everyday I fail to improve upon my PB (Personal Best for the non-athletic!). I keep finding that I under perform. I fail to reach my qualifying standard for generally pleasant bloke. Let alone God's qualifying standard.
That's why I was so encouraged by a little verse at the end of Hosea yesterday. Hosea's all about God's faithful, determined love to an unfaithful and rebellious people. In the very last chapter God says: "...your fruitfulness comes from me." (Hosea 14:8) The ability to live fruitful lives for God comes not from our efforts but from Him; from His great redeeming love for us in Jesus and His powerful presence with us by His Spirit.
So I know that whilst I will never be challenging Mo's Olympic record, in the race that really matters, the marathon of life, I am a winner.