Maybe you have or haven’t heard of the Invictus Games. It’s a four day event presently taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London in the UK.
The international event for sick and injured servicemen and women from 13 nations is aimed at inspiring recovery and rehabilitation as well as highlighting the injuries of service.
The Games is the brainchild of Prince Henry of Wales aka Prince Harry who was inspired to create the Invictus Games after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado, an annual event aimed at rehabilitating injured US servicemen and women in 2013.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Games Prince Harry said:
“Over the past eight years, I have witnessed the whole cycle of life-changing injury; evacuating soldiers and local Afghans to hospital; flying home from Afghanistan with some of those critically injured; meeting others in hospital coming to terms with life-changing injuries; and finally trying to keep up with 12 wounded veterans on our way to the South Pole. I can only begin to imagine how challenging the journey of recovery is, but the admiration I have for these men and women, to move beyond their injuries, is limitless.”
The Games is all about the service men and women who have decided to look their set-backs in the face and declare ‘you will not beat me, you will not hold me down, and you will not hold me in bondage’. ‘I will overcome you, I will conquer you!
Many have taken advantage of the modern day tools made available to them; wheelchairs, prosthetic arms and legs and for some their injuries are seemingly invisible, their minds being the battle grounds.
But competitive sport has given each of them a new purpose in life, inspiration to rise above their circumstances, to let go of what inhibits them and embrace their capabilities in a bit to excel in their chosen event. To push themselves to be the very best and then some!
The Games actually takes its name from a poem written by William Ernest Henley 1849–1903 an English poet.
(By William Ernest Henley)
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Over 400 wounded, sick and injured personnel are taking part in these games, men and women who have decided to confront their ‘demons’ and take back their lives. Men and women who have decided to give life their best shot, they have decided to succeed and to excel.
If these men and women can do it then surely so can you and I and with Jesus living on the inside we have even more reason to overcome and partake in the victory march.
Our broken limbs, broken relationships, our wounded hearts and diverse impairments may seem life shattering, but if a double amputee can outrun many fully bodied contemporaries then we too must never give up.
For some their disabilities precede them wherever they go, for many of us we wrestle with them of a night-time alone on our beds. But whatever our own particular circumstance may be, there is someone who wants to stand alongside us and coach us on until we arrive at the gold podium. His name is Jesus, He promised that when we embrace Him, He will never leave us nor forsake us. He promised to give us victory if we follow His lead.
I encourage you to be inspired by the 400 plus exceptional men and women taking part in the Invictus Games.
I urge you to place your faith and trust in the greatest life-coach of all time, the Lord Jesus Christ and be a part of the world’s dream team, the team that has been assured victory!
Looking forward to seeing you on the gold podium, LolaA :)