Friday, September 18, 2015

Thought for the Day

On the day the Rugby World Cup begins and the day before Gloucester play in the one day cricket final at Lords, here is today's thought, as delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning:

It's a while since I played contact sport. Gave up rugby in my teens after a couple of encounters between nose and big people. Played football until mid-forties and cricket a couple of years longer. Today it is all non-impact stuff at the gym.

There's an odd verse in the Bible. David is becoming a serious rival to King Saul because of his success on the battlefield. Saul hears women chanting:

Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.

It's like a football chant - a reminder to the opposition of the score when you're winning.

We read that Saul was very angry when he heard this refrain. He imagines that David is only one step from taking over his kingdom. From that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

Yes, war was once the sport of kings. Gladiatorial combat, jousting and the like are all a step in the direction of fighting with rules and spectators. War-lite.

Can't imagine playing rugby in today's climate - I am not the bulkiest of men and may well snap.

But I like the freedom in a framework found in competitive sport. I enjoy watching the combat.

Sporting success is good for morale in a country, county, city or town. Sporting failure is a gentle way to learn that life isn't all about winning. It teaches humility, perseverance, strategy and psychology.

With several local and national sporting stories about to begin let us treat those imposters of triumph and disaster just the same. Humble in victory; gracious in defeat. Or as David later put it himself, speaking of God:

May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.
Amen to that.

No comments: