It’s certainly been an exciting sports weekend in both the rugby and rugby league codes. If you are a rugby fanatic like myself you will be feeling the pressure as the All Blacks restarted their campaign for the Webb Ellis Cup after their loss to France with the game against Namibia. The Warriors (Go da Wahs) also have a huge following, especially with their impressive performance against the New Castle Knights and the prospect of playing in the grand final of the NRL. The pressure on coaches, players, fans, officials, and families, is beginning to tell.
Being a follower of both codes (and all other sports in New Zealand and Samoa), this is a treat for the fans. The armchair experts and their reflective comments take it on another level. Their comments draw big followings depending on which team. YouTube is populated with former players and coaches making their views known. The pressure on players being sent off for 10 minutes (yellow cards) and then waiting to see whether the yellow turns to a red card can be felt at home as players wait for the outcome.
As followers of Jesus, we too are in a game of life. There will be pressure to sidetrack us from pursuing God’s game plan for humanity. The plan has been executed to perfection for everyone to celebrate. I pray that this week you ask the Holy Spirit to energize you and direct you to the plan God has called you to. I pray that you will be blessed and be filled with the joy of the Lord and that this will be your strength as you push over the try line for whatever circumstances you are facing.
Not that I have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Finally, as God spoke to Joshua before crossing the promised land “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 9:11).