I walked into this viewing center to have fun. There I was when some things began to make more sense.
In the game of football, there are always two teams. At each point in time on the pitch, one team is attacking while the other defends. While I was enjoying this game between Chelsea FC and Manchester City FC, it suddenly struck me that life puts us in a similar situation as the game of football. We are always either attacking or defending. Remember that time you were about writing your Senior School Certificate Examinations; that time you were preparing for your final exams in your higher institution; when you were preparing for your first job interview… You sure were on the attack those times. At other times, you had to struggle against sickness, struggle against sin as a christian, fight for your position in your organization when there is a threat of demotion or dismissal… You were on the defensive side then. But just like the game of football, every time you feel you are attacking, always know that there is a team defending. you may not be able to identify that team as I speak but let’s question ourselves a little. Why does it appear more difficult when you are closest to success? Why is a woman always in labor when it is time to give birth? Why is it that final exams prove to be more difficult than other exams you took along the way to this last stage? Why is it that the day breaks only after the night reaches its peak of darkness? Hmmm, let’s face it, all forms of success have forces opposing them.
In the game of football, teams do not just attack. They attack with a goal in mind. This is the same with an organized human. Every activity we engage ourselves, we do with a purpose; a vision. We engage ourselves with the what and the how in mind. It is true that at every area on the pitch, there are oppositions; one form of resistance or the other but as the attacking team approaches the goal, the resistance of the opposing team becomes tougher. In fact, at the goal mouth lies the toughest resistance. In relation to life, we attack, not just because we want to attack but because we have a goal in mind. We attack with purpose. Like I said earlier, going to school is one way we as humans attack the defenses of life in a bid to achieve our goals. But you can attest to the fact that the closer you get to the fulfillment of your ambition, the tougher it gets. It may not be school for you but surely, everyday you wake up, there is a purpose or goal to focus your attack. It’s true there are obstacles all the way but it is toughest at the goal mouth.
As the attacking team approaches the goal, there is an increase in the intensity of their attack with the corresponding increase in the the resistance of the opposing team. Hence, the attack is most potent at the goal mouth.
As in the case of Manchester city and Chelsea FC, we saw Frank Lampard play against his own dear Chelsea and scored. Your best friend could be a threat to your goal especially if you are an obstacle to his. On the other hand, he may not consciously be a threat. But he that has the goal should be aware of all possible threats to it and be disciplined enough not to be distracted by emotions or frivolities.
Finally, in football, a team must do one of two things: attack or defend. A team that does none of these will only be disgraced.
What have you not done right? Remember a football team comes with a game plan and pattern. Do you have one or you are just strolling past life? Have you seen a strolling team on the pitch before? Some teams that saw the world cup as an adventure for sight-seeing got the walloping of their lives from goal oriented teams. Do you easily get distracted, especially when at the goal mouth where your attack needs to be most efficient? Remember the darkest part of the night is closest to morning.
When a team is loosing on the break, they organize themselves in the dressing room and come back with a winning mentality in the second half. I expect the same from you today against the opposition of life. remember man is a team of spirit and flesh, so also is the opposition. Strengthen your spirit with Christ and discipline your flesh. God’s Grace to you all, Amen.