03 August 2012
The stunning anthem commissioned by the BBC for their coverage of the Olympics is called 'First Steps'. The inspiration for the theme came to Elbow's frontman Guy Garvey when the bass player's baby daughter started walking, staggering towards her dad. He wanted to write something which would capture the family bonds that are woven through the Games, knowing that it was going to soundtrack somebody's dad or daughter attempting their utmost. The song talks about being a part of the person that you're looking at. "We're in your blood, we're in your eyes. The will to fly is in your eyes."
As such, the anthem has rousing trumpets, gladiatorial drums, pistol start and finish line moments, with equally strong winning themes and losing themes to suit all the different aspects of the coverage. Beautiful art accompanying the joyous moments of victory and heartwrenching sadness of defeat of the athletes who've faithfully worked on a dream.
Composer Garvey comments: "You have to appreciate the endeavour of the Olympics, because endeavour is the best we have, isn't it? My granddad on me mum's side used to lean over his fire on his stick and tell me that the gas to heat it came from under the North Sea. Then he'd say: 'And do you know what pushes it through the pipe, son? Endeavour!'"
While the Olympic drama of disappointed hopes and fulfilled dreams is played out on a worldwide stage, it is equally lived out under the radar in every day life. And hopefully, it is 'endeavour' which is running through the pipes as we dedicate ourselves to our dream. Effort not merely in achieving a goal but also in faithfully journeying towards it, absorbing the challenges and 'setbacks' in a way that is integral to the grand redemptive purpose.
For the formation of God's plan takes place not merely in the successes, but equally in the midst of the hardship. We may not always hear a rousing theme song accompanying us along the way, but we have the promise that His grace is sufficient for us, for His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
In this letter, Paul reflects that as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance, hardships, in hard work; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
Paul's list weaves together strands of endeavour, character, equipping and empowering.So whatever first steps we take in a new job, in a drug rehabilitation program, a romance, a pilot research, a reconciliation process, or in a new academic year, we behold Him. His promises are deeply woven into the warp and woof of every day life. The Spirit is God's empowering presence, enabling us to live faithfully, giving our utmost.
We're in His eyes.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory … So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
It's a stunning theme song that soundtracks our life.
Marijke Hoek, coordinator Forum for Change