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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

29 August 2012: Rev'd Joanna Farrell, Assistant Priest, Steep and Froxfield with Privett

Inspire a generation

With memories of the "happy and glorious" 2012 London Olympics still fresh in the minds of many millions of people, today sees the opening of the 2012 Paralympics in London. The two events share many of the same sports, the same venues - and the same slogan, "Inspire a generation."

However, not everyone is inspired by sport; some people find inspiration in music or the beauty of creation or even just in quiet and stillness. But when you see a person achieve the unthinkable or do something well beyond the normal range of achievement, it's hard not to be inspired. It's the same when you meet a person whose life is an example of holy living, who gives off the joy that comes from knowing God and doing his will, of living each day to the full.

"Inspiration" and "spirit" both have their roots in the Latin for breath and Christians believe that the Holy Spirit gives inspiration, that good deeds and thoughts are breathed into us when we open ourselves to the power of God at work in us. In this way we can become more Christlike and are enabled to live in the world but not of it.

At the Olympic closing ceremony the volunteers were especially commended for their enthusiasm and their kindness, one of the fruits of the Spirit listed by St Paul in his letter to the Galatians: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Whilst the Olympics and the Paralympics may inspire a generation to great sporting achievements, perhaps people of lesser sporting ability can be inspired to produce the fruits of the Spirit.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Post on 29 August; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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