June 14 to July 15, 2018, will be a time when football fans and fanatics will be glued on their television set boxes – for those who will not be in Russia – to catch a glimpse of the first class football. FIFA world cup is an event that attracts masses. We have a tendency of aligning ourselves with the teams we consider having great chances of lifting the trophy. On the other hand, we may support a team purely on nationalism reasons. It all boils down to human behaviour. I know there are people who are vouching for Germany since it won the trophy in the last event. Others may be vouching for England, Russia, Argentina, Egypt and even Iran. I have always supported Brazil, and I don’t have any reason to change my mind. Of course, I will be keenly watching Nigeria, Egypt, and Tunisia.
I am reliably informed that Football legends have started trooping to Russia. Most likely they will be noticed on technical benches as the dish out advice from their quivers of experience. Some of them are Thierry Henry of Belgium, Miroslav Klose of Germany, Didier Deschamps of France, Taffarel of Brazil (this is nostalgic), Ivica Olic of Croatia, Aliou Cisse of Senegal, Oscar Ramirez of Costa Rica and Gareth Southgate of England.
There are a number of current big guns who won’t make it to Russia as players. They include Alexis Sanchez, Gareth Bale, Antonio Valencia, David Alaba and Arjen Robben.
The world’s premier soccer scuffle culminates in medals being awarded to the teams, individual players and coaches who show exemplary performance. It is a time when football wizardry is displayed as fans are left either in melodrama or melancholy. The awards given have names. They will include Fair Play Trophy; Golden, Silver and Bronze Boots; Golden, Silver and Bronze Balls; Golden Glove and Young player.
No player can win any of the prizes unless they are disciplined. No team can win any of the prizes and trophy unless it is a disciplined team.
A contrast is made when comparing football tournaments and events with the Christian life. We are not in a competition. We are not entertaining anyone. We are not playing a game; we are in a serious business. We are not here to please any human being except the Master, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We are not working in the kingdom so that we can receive rewards but because we are led by the Holy Spirit to perform that which edifies His Church and glorifies His name.
However, God shall surely reward us when we appear before Him at the end of the age. Those who have received much from Him are expected to produce much. The gifts and talents given to the individuals and the church are not for show or entertainment but for His glory. They must be put to use.
Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.
2 Chronicles 15:7 (KJV).
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14 (KJV)