and many of them left

30 08 2012

“And many of them left.”

Perhaps that will be a common sentence in Modern Pentathlon clubs up and down the country in September. Caught by the buzz of a brilliant Olympics how many of us have been tempted to shoot a gun from an unfamiliar horse whilst wearing a fencing hat. How hard can it be? Who hasn’t googled ‘where’s my local club…”?

Or maybe you’ve just extended the kids sandpit a bit, or attempted a Fosbury Flip onto the trampoline? They make it look so easy. 

I’m up for it. It’s so modern, just like me.

“And many of them left.”

Perhaps it was one of the saddest days of Jesus’ ministry amongst his friends. Pulled along by the buzz were many to whom all this was new. Like seeing Greco-Roman wrestling for the first time many had their eyes opened to a new possibility. Jesus talked about the bread of life and they remembered the stories of the manna from heaven whilst at daily risk of desert-starvation and they thought yes! we can do this!

And then the reality set in. Wearing those leotards? In public? In that position? That’s not the bread of life, it’s more like stale 4 day old baguette  that sticks in the throat no matter how much honey you put on it. 

This liturgical dance went a bit far.

 Why? Because it was hard. I also love the fact that next he challenges his inner circle, the 12. “Are you going to leave as well?” I wonder what the tone is. Is he worried? Does he wonder if he’s gone too far, pushed too early, because he doesn’t want to cross the finish line alone like David Rudisha. This is a team event and the only way Cav can win is if we stick together. 

And Simon Peter says No, we are staying! All the others are wimps! Look at them complaining it’s too hard, when they’ve barely joined the club!

Actually he doesn’t. He says they will stay, but not because it’s easy. But because they are convinced Jesus is right. Jesus makes demands of our lives, and he doesn’t do the hard work for us. And he didn’t for them. Are we convinced Jesus is right? And if so, are we going to stay? Not because it’s easy, but because it’s true? 

In the words of Somali-born Muslim Londoner and Olympic Champion Mo Farah, “It’s all hard work and grafting.” No shortcuts, no cheats, no easy way out. Many will leave. But many will stay.

Which one am I?

Now, I’m off to ride an unfamiliar horse. Which is all horses, actually.  

You may notice a slight revamp of my pictures! They are courtesy of the excellent Miriam Kendrick, do visit her website and sign up for her cartoon Miriam’s Daily Adventures, always brings a chuckle to my day. 




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