Saturday, 21 March 2009

A New Love

Never before was there any interest. And that goes back a long way.
At primary school you longed for the day when you'd be able to become part of the team - the hockey team at the High School.
Eventually the day dawned and hockey was your main hobby...after school, on Saturday, before school, during games.... We hated the athletics season. We despised the tennis courts. The only game was hockey. Girls v Girls, Girls v Boys, Mixed Teams, Team v Staff... No other game got a look in.
Then, this week, on two occasions I've watched rugby! Our school didn't play the game so I'd never seen a match and hadn't (still haven't) much idea about what happens.
But, one of my parishioners was playing on the Methody team in the Schools Final at Ravenhill, so I watched with growing interest and enthusiasm. I don't particularly like the "rough bits" but admire the skill and, even more, the courage. Willingly to throw yourself at someone else to gain possession of the ball...that takes courage!
Today, just now, Ireland played Wales. Gripping stuff - and what surprised me was - I cared! For the second time in my life (both in the same week) it mattered who won the game. Ireland were 6 points down at half time and didn't look wonderfully strong. But things changed, then changed again, then again....until the very last minute the outcome was unclear.
Suddenly the Grand Slam belonged to Ireland. Over 60 years since it last happened. What a sensation, what a feeling of being part of something bigger.
There is something in the "feel good" factor of belonging to a victorious side whether it is Schools Cup or Grand Slam. A sense that "we" have achieved a target and did what we intended.
Will it matter tomorrow or in the days after? Yes, I think it will.
These wins are the result of disciplined practice and teambuilding over a long period. How serious are christians when it comes to taking part in the battle against the forces of evil? Maybe we need a few rugby coaches to teach us a thing or two about working together, courage and never giving up - even when all seems to be lost.


ConfusedCelt said...

you are so right in your observations about sport and the greatest 'battle' we face - that of the Christian life.
As a hockey player of 30 years - as you know - I know the importance of teamwork - and I have experienced the joy of winning as a team, as well as the comradeship in defeat. As a Christian I am more and more convinced that this journey is a team sport - as there are things I can do independently - but there is more I can do when I have support.

I was at the rugby on Saturday - and I am convinced the roars I uttered helped the boys in green win - so maybe we should be roaring support and encouragement at each other - who knows what could happen.......

God Bless - your ex-student and eternal sister! x Noreen

Ian Poulton said...

You've won the Schools' Cup and the Grand Slam in your first week?

I have spent my whole life supporting losing sides!