Remember a couple of weeks ago when Team GB won six gold medals in one day? The highlights for me were the same as everyone else’s; Jess Ennis’s final 200m, and Mo Farah’s final 400m.
An amazing day, filled with emotion and national pride, and wonder at just how they do it.
And just a little bit of envy.
Some of my best friends were in the Olympic Stadium that night.
They got to feel the tension first-hand. They got to be part of the noise that encouraged GB’s athletes to achieve excellence. They simply got to say, ‘I was there.’
I get to say, ‘I watched it on the telly.’ Not quite the same, really. I was a bit jealous.
And I could qualify it, try to convince myself that it’s just a game and that my viewing angles were better than theirs anyway, but it makes no difference – like approximately 6,999,929,999 of the world’s 7,000,000,000 population I wasn’t there.
The morning after that evening I saw this quote from Thomas Watson, one of the Puritans:
If you have not what you desire, you have more than you deserve.
A bit confusing, but it comes down to this: I’ve rebelled against God by nature and by choice, and what I deserve is eternal conscious torment. It’s what we all deserve. The time fits the crime, and my crime is against an infinite and eternal holy God. The fact that I have sufficient brainpower to desire something is evidence that God has given me way more than I deserve; he’s given me life! It’s called grace, and it’s wonderful.