What an amazing summer of sporting events!
At the time of writing, the sun is shining, and England are in the Semi Finals of the World Cup – by the time you read this, the team under the excellent leadership of Gareth Southgate, may have gone all the way and be bringing the World Cup home!
Even if this is not the case, I’m sure us chaps will be wearing waistcoats to celebrate the excellent England Team! Also, at the time of writing, Roger Federer is storming through all his games heading towards the men’s final at Wimbledon, Team Sky have proved to be the fastest in the team trial at the Tour de France, but Lewis Hamilton fell to 8 points behind rival Sabastian Vettel in the driver’s standings. He put this down to “interesting tactics” in which Raikkonen hit the back of his car and spun him around on the first lap – a phrase he later regretted. Also, at the time of writing, England beat India by five wickets in their International Twenty20 cricket match.
But things change so quickly. By the time you read this, all of the above will be out of date and it won’t all be good news or happy endings. Some will be frustrated at coming so far and falling at the last hurdle. Others will be celebrating unexpected victories, surpassing expectations and gathering a new set of adoring fans.
It may come as a surprise how many professional footballers express a clear Christian faith. John Bostok, the former Spurs prodigy, now plies his trade in France with Lens and has been an outstanding advocate of the Christian faith in the world of professional football. Edinson Cavani, who plays for Paris Saint Germain (PSG) is a member of www.atletidicristo.org, a website for the ‘Athletes of Christ’ along with fellow greats such as Lucio and Kaka. He also detailed in his book ‘What I have in my heart’ about his faith and how approaching Jesus has changed his life. Radamel Falcao, who plays for Monaco, is a youth group leader in his home church in Buenos Aires and is heavily involved in projects to help disadvantaged children. Neymar, who plays for PSG famously said that, “life only makes sense when our highest ideal is to serve Christ.” Known for his magical feet on the pitch, off it he is described as a humble individual who tithes 10% of his mega salary to his home Church in Brazil. Kaka celebrates every goal by thanking the Lord and plans to become a church minister once he calls time on a wonderful playing career.
There are many other influential sports men and women who profess a clear, personal faith in God whether on the winning or the losing side!
So, whatever the outcome of this summer of sporting fun, let’s give thanks for all those memorable moments we have enjoyed from our sporting heroes.
God’s blessings on you