Monthly Reflection – July 2018
Good Morning all- I hope this month’s reflection finds you well- to begin sadly I have to report that our Deputy Branch Leader Andrew Robinson will step down from his role next week as he is leaving the Constabulary to transfer to the City of London Police. Andy has been an excellent support to me over the last few years and his assistance to me in running the Branch has made my life much easier; n behalf of the Branch Andy we wish you well in your service with the City and pray that the Lord guides you in your new work environment! I would ask that everyone remembers Andy in prayer as he moves on and me as I take on the running of the Branch single handed! On another note a team from the CPA are off to the CVM Gathering next weekend so please pray for us as we share our experiences of being Christians in the Police service with men from all walks of life!
Jumpers for Goal Posts
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
So everyone here we go again- ‘Jumpers for Goal Posts, Three Lions on my shirt, England expects everyman shall do his duty, this time we can do it, best team since Euro 96, Goal Line technology, flat back four?, Is Southgate ready/good enough, Is the team too young?, the season is too long, will they cope with the change of climate?, Hope we don’t face Germany in the Penalty shootout…… etc, etc, etc!
Yes it is once again time for the Football World Cup and the excitement has begun to grow right across the world for the four yearly festival of football which is being held in Russia starting this week! The advertising campaigns have hit full speed with every product being hailed as ‘perfect for watching the world cup’. Pubs, clubs and bars across the UK are investing in big screens, extra serving staff and security in preparation for us all sitting down to watch England win the world cup……….?
I would imagine that these preparations are being made in some if not all of the 32 nations represented at this World Cup with the hope of each nation being carried by their players! The truth is however that for 31 of the 32 teams the competition will end in disappointment- there can only be one winner and even a runners up medal comes with a tinge of disappointment; this is the nature of competitive sport! We learn from a very early age that winning and losing is part of playing sport; the ability to win or lose with grace and a smile is something my parents taught me from an early age- it is something I am teaching my children! It is how we face winning or losing that ultimately makes us a winner or a loser!
The truth is that in all sport whether individual or team based there are more losers than winners- in athletics only the top three in the final of any event receive any kind of reward- everyone else goes home empty handed; in team sports there is only one champion in each cup competition and in every league; yet every season those who didn’t win are back, with a clean slate competing to win!
In sport and in life we can never predict how things are going to go- we hope and we plan to succeed, we try our hardest and give it everything but sometimes things simply do not work out as we expected. It is in these moments when things have or are going wrong that we as Christians need to find a way to respond – I was recently watching a film called ‘Facing the Giants’ which tells the story of an American football team and their coach who are facing trials both on the pitch and off of it- it is well worth a watch! In the film the coach encourages his team at one point saying-
‘I want God to bless this team so much people will talk about what He did. But it means we got to give Him our best in every area. And if we win, we praise Him. And if we lose, we praise Him. Either way we honour Him with our actions and our attitudes. So I’m asking’ you… What are you living for? I resolve to give God everything I’ve got, then I’ll leave the results up to Him. I want to know if you’ll join me.’
What this says to me is that we praise the Lord no matter what- win or lose and not just in sport!!
I recently had the great pleasure to meet Debbie Flood a former British Olympic rower and Christian Sports woman. She told us her story and relayed to us how she had feared that she had lost everything-
‘ Do you ever wonder why your life has gone down a certain path and ask yourself what on earth am I doing here? In the aftermath of losing my Olympic trial in 2000 I was in that place. Aged 18, I had a plan for my life; to row full time for two years, compete in Sydney at the Olympics, and then become a veterinary surgeon. However God had other plans. I had just lost my place in the team and my dreams and hopes had disappeared.’
Debbie went on to explain that after feeling lost and rejected that she had two options- to give up on the plan God had for her or to redouble her efforts and carry on- She decided to carry on rowing and rather than go to the Olympics as she had hoped she had an amazing year where she won trophies and awards at the Henley regatta – she described that year as ‘the most amazing of her international career’.
Debbie went on from that year to win three World Championship Gold medals and Two Olympic Silvers…. Good job she didn’t give up!!
When we fail it is heart breaking whether it is in the world of sport or in our personal or working lives- Having lost in a cup final and failed a driving course I know how it feels! That feeling of heartbreak is however temporary- and we can get past it! We must remember that that one failure does not define us- it is merely a temporary setback in the bigger picture of our lives.
As Christians we have an ever present Lord and Saviour who we can call on at all times- we can rely on him to be with us when everything seems to have gone wrong- it maybe that God has a better plan for you…. I have seen this in evidence in the lives of people around me who have let God guide there steps- as we see in the scripture above from Proverbs that we need to let God guide us to where he needs us!
So this month be encouraged that if you feel you have failed- don’t let it define you- give it to God, Praise him, honour him with your words and actions- give God everything and leave the results up to him!
Oh and ‘Come on England!’