Post-Christian Europe needs followers of Jesus who understand that the Gospel is powerful in itself. We should not hold onto the privileges of old religious structures.
In the Bible we see people like us who were tempted to give in, but were restored by God.
I was very young when I saw my first televised Olympics, but it made an impression. It was the 1972 Munich Olympics.
In the 10,000 metres athletics competition, the favourite, LASSE VIREN fell halfway through the race, after 12 minutes and 28 seconds.
For a few endless moments, Viren couldn't decide whether to carry on. Then, even though his opponents had gained more than 50 metres advantage, he ran and caught up with them. It was extraordinary. Viren ran as he had never run before, came first and set a new world's record, at 27 minutes and 38 seconds!
We are often tempted to give up. We feel defeated and we think we'd better stop running. Sometimes in life we fall, feel like failures, and decide to lie there feeling sorry for ourselves. Nothing is as harmful as failure.
The Bible tells of many failures who turned back. Not all the stories end the same way, however, as today's verse shows. The child of God can always get up and carry on.
Whatever your situation, God can raise you up. In the Bible we see people like us who were tempted to give in, but were restored by God. Remember John Mark? And Peter? And David?
One of the Devil's favourite temptations is making us want to turn back. Sometimes life seems like a grave where we bury our dreams. Sometimes when we're tempted to give up, the only solution seems to be to turn back. The Devil blinds us so that we can't see ahead, or realise that we can still get up and run ahead.
Don't turn back! Don't just lie there feeling sorry for yourself! It's worth another try. It's worth trusting in the one who never lets us down. It's worth getting up and carrying on.