2012 Calendar: August

It's already August, and the Olympics are in full swing, bringing stories of endurance, commitment and strength of character as well as body; rejoicing and personal bests alongside tears and disappointment. And, appropriately, reading Paul's letters in chronological order means it's my month for reading his letter to the Philippians. Here we have Paul, confined to a Roman jail, writing a letter sprinkled with sporting metaphors: who knows, maybe, in his incarceration, he longed to stretch his limbs and go for a good run, and writing about it was the closest he could get to it.

So this month's quote just has to be one of those metaphors, from 3: 12-14:

I am still running, trying to capture the prize for which Christ captured me. I can assure you, I am far from thinking that I have already won. All I can say is that I forget the past and I strain ahead for what is still to come; I am racing for the finish, for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

This time last year I was at a meeting in Spain, in a house surrounded by a dry, dusty garden. This photo, taken there, shows the sort of road the imprisoned Paul must have dreamt of running down, striving for a prize far, far greater than even the biggest haul of gold medals...