Cricket, Football, Tennis, Boxing…

Yesterday was a good day for sports lovers.

First England lost the cricket. It was something of a disaster. New Zealand beat Joe Root and his men pretty convincingly.

Then England won the football – their first match of the Euros against Croatia. I enjoyed the performance – the young players, the Raheem Stirling goal and winning!

And then Novak Djokovic won the tennis – a long hard fought match, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in a thrilling final of the French Open.

I love the drama of the big occasion, the admiration of skill and physical fitness, the tension of close competition, the crowd’s emotional involvement, the athlete giving their all, the very British – ‘It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; it’s the taking part that counts.’

The wonderful film/musical Bugsy Malone is a gangster movie where all the gangsters are played by children. Fat Sam and Dandy Dan battle for power using splurge guns that cover the victim in cream…

In the song ‘So you want to be a boxer’ Bugsy believes that his friend Leroy has the potential to be a boxer and is trying to persuade to train…

So you wanna be a boxer?
Can you pass the test?
I can tell if you’ve got it in you
I’ve trained the best

The picture of life as a sport is well rehearsed. The training, dedication, determination to be the best you can be. The individual skill and stamina of the boxer or tennis star; the team-playing aspects dependence and dependability of football or cricket…

Content that my days of taking part in competitive sport are over I muse on life’s endeavours both alone and in a team. I reflect on my faith and identify with King David:

‘You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.’ (Psalm 4:7-8)

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