BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 9 August 2004


The lecturer finished his talk on manic depression.  He asked, "So, how would you diagnose a patient who walks back and forth screaming at the top of his lungs one minute, then sits in a chair weeping uncontrollably the next?"  A young man in the rear raised his hand and tentatively answered, "A football manager?"


I don’t know how Micky Adams felt about City’s 0-0 draw with West Ham.  No win there, but it was a top of the table clash, if the football pundits are anything to go by.  But Leicestershire County Cricket Club have done us proud.  Winning the Twenty20 Cup was a great achievement, given the high calibre of the opposition.  Well done the Foxes!


Sporting contests have always been important to people.  The Olympics are just a few days away, and we’ll doubtless see great sporting performances.  We’ll share the highs and the lows, the joys and the sorrows of the young men and women who have worked so hard over many years to represent their country in the greatest sporting contest the world has to offer.


Sporting contests are even mentioned in the Bible.  St. Paul uses them to explain how we should live our lives.  He pictures our life on earth as a race, and heaven as our prize.  This is what he says:


You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race.  Everyone runs; one wins.  Run to win.  All good athletes train hard.  They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades.  You're after one that's gold eternally.
I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line.  I'm giving it everything I've got.  No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition.  I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.[1]


Giving your all doesn’t mean you have to lose your humanity.  Henry Pearce of Australia was leading in the single scull rowing at the 1928 Olympics. A duck and her string of ducklings hove into view.  They were on a collision course and Pearce reckoned that his boat would cut the string in two and drown a few ducklings in the process, so he pulled in his oars.  When the ducks passed, Pearce again bent his back to the task.  There's a happy ending to the story.  Sometimes, like this time, nice guys win!


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[1] 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 MSG