Today hasn’t been good news if you are a bookie…
People who bet on Leicesters victory were given initial massive odds, here are 11 things bookies think was more likely to happen than their victory yesterday http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/row-zed/11-things-were-officially-more-7320326.
It made me think that this is the ultimate triumph of the underdog, the David and Golliath, the unlikely and the written off being under-estimating coming and winning victory when everyone expected the wealthier and better known team and players to be victorious.
The Bible is full of those who the world has written off, confounding conventional expectations and being victorious in the face of adversity.
An encouraging truth, as most of us feel more like a David (an over-looked shepherd boy who wasn’t called up to serve in the army) most of the time rather than a Goliath (the pride of the Philistines a warrior champion), and yet we need these stories to encourage us to do those risky, odds defying audacity, rather than a life of playing it small and writing ourselves of.
It would have been easy for Leicester to have lost their bottle, and be proud of simply doing much better than anyone expected, rather than push on beyond expectations, to a Victory that many thought beyond them.
As Nelson Mandela once said “Everything is considered Impossible, until it is done”.
Those trying to ‘buy’ football with expensive players, discovered that placing their faith in how much money they had spent, was not the guarantee that investors thought.
Interesting and encouraging too when we think of elections in America every election has been won by the candidate who spent the most money in their campaign, perhaps, this in a small way, Leicesters victory might challenge people like Lynton Crosby and Lord Ashcroft (the guys behind the Conservatives victory at the last election), that shedloads of cash can’t always buy yourself the results you want.
Also, thinking about this today, I remembered an illustration from the Arrow Course (a course I did on leadership a while back) about a whole load of athletes running the relay race, and in tests the fastest team actually rarely won the race, rather victory was won in smooth handovers, which can only be managed by good team work. The message we gained from that, is not just about being a great player, but working together well, each bringing out the best in each other, when everyone plays well everyone’s game improves. Too often in modern day football we seem to concentrate on great individuals, which can be achieved instantly, rather than the longer and more painstaking and costly goal of building a great team together. Team I was once taught could stand for Together Everyone Achievements More.
Yet in order to be a good team player, one has to (to use a Biblical expression) ‘die to self’ as team is often is the opposite of ego, you pass the ball to the person with the best opportunity to score a goal, rather than trying to monopolize the opportunities for glory oneself. It is a costly lesson, but one which often means the difference between Victory and Defeat.
Also, one thing I have noticed in football, is that victory is not over until the final whistle, as a united fan I remember before they won the treble in 1999 (when I was very young!!) it looked like Bryan Munich were going to beat us, right up until the last few moments, but Victory was won in the last 90 seconds of the game. The challenge that Churchill gave the Oxford Union could sum up that match “never, never, never give up” not quitting, not giving in, keeping fighting and suddenly everything changed in just a few seconds where Teddy Sherringham and then Sholskaer seized the moment(s) and turned everything around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86BNs0wSBow
My worry as Christians is that we still have an obsession with celebrity culture, we do think that our super large successful Churches a bit like the premier league teams (sadly I think there are some who do!) and yet God rejoices in surprising us by turning up in unexpected and written off places.
Do we think of team, Church in many ways could be described as “God’s local team in the neighbourhood”, or are we wanting prominence and the glory, is it about us and ego our self sacrifice and the victory for the team. Are we building team or family that is greater than ourselves, a community where our unity and togetherness causes everyone to achieve more and go beyond what we thought possible. Are we prepared to fight for victory, are we prepared to snatch it from the jaws of defeat, not quitting, not giving up and seizing those defining, game changing moments.
This is the video of most Dramatic Final in the Champions league between Manchester United Vs Bayern Munich in 1999…. Glory Glory Man United as Reds Go Marching On …
Back in August, you could get shorter odds on all 11 of these (mental) possibilities than you could on Leicester winning the league