Thursday, 25 October 2012

Moment to Shine

18th June 2012 and the Olympic flame came through Redcar & Cleveland. My part in this flames journey was to carry it just 300 metres through the town where I work, Saltburn.
It is very difficult to explain in words just how I felt (excited just didn’t come close). The bus behind me had a banner “Your moment to shine” and it was just a moment but packed with pride and so many people cheering through the streets.

This flame had started its journey in Greece and ignited from the rays of the sun; this was a very special flame that was not going to be allowed to go out. Coca Cola called us Future Flames and I felt that was right as I work with young people and they are our future today. The torch is beautiful and holds 8,000 holes; one for every torch bearer and for the 8,000 mile journey this flame makes to the Olympic games in London. The triangular shape of the burner holds two Olympic mottoes:
  1. Stronger, Faster, Higher – in our endeavours
  2. Respect, Excellence, Friendship – for each other
The second of these calls for respect in how we compete/ live. Then to do everything with excellence, which is not always to be the best but to do what ever we do, the best we can. Often I am asked if I will sell the torch and how much it is worth, we usually reach a point in the discussion when it is agreed that the torch is valuable beyond just money. Money cannot buy friendship and we should treasure our friends because their value is priceless.

Soon it was time to pass the flame to Gerry who came rushing up to meet me; he was so excited and shook my hand firmly. This was the end of my time with the flame; someone else must now carry it further. There was learning to be had here, that for something to go on – I had to let go, to pass it on to the next man; my moment to shine was over but the flame can and does live on within all torch bearers; we just love to tell the story. The Olympics are about inspiring a generation and working with young people, I would like to think I can play a part in inspiring them to achieve their dreams, do what ever they do with excellence and value their friendships.

The best way to predict the future – is to create it.

Saturday, 13 October 2012


It is often in the simplest of tasks, thoughts emerge that become challenges, ideas or solutions; where do they come from? I know most of my best ideas for resources, teaching or preaching, tend to formulate early in the morning while shaving. 

Clearly nothing comes from nothing so there must be a seed of thought, something that kicks it off. A word or phrase heard, an observation questioning, why does that happen that way? Listening to our mixture of emotions and wondering why they are knitted this way? There is a spiritual dimension too that seems external, yet personal at its core. If nothing comes from nothing, then our thoughts have purpose and should not be disregarded as random nonsense. 

I immerse myself in the quiet, appearing to be deep in thought; expecting at any minute a revelation that would drive me forward. I am now learning to continue with the practical and to be more aware of my thoughts, a little bit like solving a crossword puzzle.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Runswick Bay N Yorks
The evening is still and as I stand in the quiet, distant sounds are clear to me. It is as if there is a circle of silence, that stretches for a mile or so. Beyond that, sounds are coming through the stillness; this whole experience, which is out of the ordinary, prompts me to be part of the quiet.

It is within the stillness, that the noise of the day begins to make sense and I recognise I need the quiet, and the solitude, to balance the turbulence each day brings.