faith comment newsletters annual reports archives audio video minutes engage

Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

20 June 2018: Jon Piper, Hope Church

Football Angst

This is not an easy time not to be a fan of football. Through the course of the World Cup, football is in the air. For a person who is neither capable of playing or particularly desirous of watching the game, these few months can be tricky.

Growing up in schools where football was the life blood of community, the World Cup was frustrating. I would watch a few games to have something to contribute on the playground, but my interest would eventually be piqued. Like a one-man retelling of the trajectory of every English team since 1966, my self-belief would move from the knowledge that my footballing abilities are sub-par to the thought that I might as well ‘have a go’ to the thought that I might surprise myself and be reasonably good, then crashing to the clarified knowledge that I should never touch a ball again.

I’ve since realised that I’m far more likely to enjoy the World Cup if I remember that I’m rubbish at football. There’s a strange magic to the movement of the ball that’s beyond me and that’s great. If I let someone else do all the kicking malarkey, life’s more enjoyable.

The acceptance that I cannot achieve some things is not in line with the zeitgeist’s description of our human condition. The ‘reach for the stars’ or ‘believe and achieve’ messages come through pretty strongly in our cultural conversations these days, but I’m happy to say that nothing will change my inability in some things. In recognising my inabilities, I recognise my need for someone else to do it on my behalf.

This is at the root of the Christian message – if I could do it all myself, I wouldn’t need a saviour. So I’m in need, but I’m also loved by the one who’s acted on my behalf.

web design by SiteWeave