These thoughts are to help and inspire people like you and me to reach higher and strive for greater things, to stand for a cause more noble than self serving, seeing the good in others and seeking it for their sake. I unashamedly weave my faith, biblical insight and life experiences into a sporting context to illustrate my personal journey to this point - I hope in a small way, I can help you on your journey to being all you were intended to be....

There are now over 50 posts to check out, tweet, link to facebook or google+ Please feel free to share a link BUT If you use any of the illustrations please acknowledge the source as Phil Manchester, Bradford, England. You can follow me on twitter @philmanchester

Friday, 16 September 2011

What happens when you run into the posts?

When I first started playing competitive rugby, our boots wouldn't have been out of place in a coal mine. The shirts we wore had such long collars that when you turned them up they virtually covered the back of your head. We didn't have body armour and the posts didnt have padding around the bottom of the uprights - which was a slight problem.

Running back in defence, marshalling the boys to get onto the try line and spread across to cover an attack, I ran, bang into one of the uprights! It would have been ok, but for the lack of padding. I was knocked out cold, but despite my prone position, play continued around me.

As I eventually started to come around, through the foggy thought processes and thumping head, I heard a phrase that was at once uplifting and has stayed with me to this day..."get up Manchester, if it had been anywhere else, it might have hurt!!"

As I dragged myself to my feet to rejoin the match, the suggestion that I was "thick headed" was realised, as I played the rest of the match with concussion, speaking total gibberish, but scoring a try somewhere in the mix.

Now I'm not entirely convinced that the sarcastic comment from the touchline was meant to be encouraging, but it certainly fired me up to keep going. Words can have interesting effects.

What we say, however flippant or serious carries it's own weight and momentum. Once things are said, it's difficult if not impossible to take them back. The bible has an interesting insight to what we say, describing the tounge like a spark that sets off a forest fire!

On the other hand, words can be like building blocks. There is a man called Barnabus mentioned in the bible in a time when lots of people were being pushed around, sent into exile or made refugees. His name translated means son of encouragement or perhaps better put "the encourager". From the records, this man always had something constructive to say. There was always an uplifting comment. His nature was like his name.

It's good to feel good. Encouragement is a powerful builder and though it doesn't cost us anything to say something uplifting, it is an increasingly rare commodity. We might not be facing the same threats as the people in Barnabus' day, but why not deliberately chose to say something encouraging to someone today and watch their confidence and their stature grow. Try it, it works - but make sure you avoid running into posts!!

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