It’s a full-on programme. Eleven days of top-quality action. The Commonwealth Games starts on 28th July with an opening ceremony and will be closed on Monday 8th August. It has some big aims: “Birmingham 2022 will shine a light on this vibrant corner of the Commonwealth and work to improve health and wellbeing. This is an event that will help the West Midlands to grow and succeed, be a catalyst for change, and foster the spirit of friendship, athleticism, and competition” (from the Birmingham 2022 website).
Every four years since 1930 (other than during WWII) the event has grown. It now involves competitors from 180 countries who compete in ‘the friendly games’’. The event will bring people together, improve health and wellbeing (assuming spectators are inspired to get active!) and help the region to grow and develop.
There will be a good spin off for this country and beyond. We tend to be a little too sedentary as a society, so it will help stimulate us to be physically more active. It will no doubt encourage a rising generation to excel in sporting activity through the hard graft involved in the necessary skills of setting targets, working at self-discipline, practising, or refining technique, and also growing in mental skills. There are numerous benefits to being involved in sport. It makes a world of difference for the individual and those that they meet.
If we are truly concerned about our wellbeing then consider the Apostle Paul’s wise words to a younger colleague whom he mentored so that he withstood the challenges of life as a leader: “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4v8). It’s a reminder to us of how we can be so concerned about physical state of health, that we can neglect our spiritual selves.
The summer months tend to provide time to relax, maybe a holiday away, even pursuing activities into the long summer evenings. Are we going to invest spiritually so that we train ourselves in what is of long-lasting value? Reading through the Holy Bible in larger chunks, or one of its 66 books could be a route for us. Others could look at reading and praying the Psalms. A Christian biography is a great deckchair or bedtime read that is so good for the soul [see www.10ofthose.com/uk] and enables us to grow spiritually. Such disciples of Jesus will make a world of difference!