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

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Crossing the Gain Line

If you want to move forward, be honest, taking a step back is not usually our first thought.

I know for sure that I have stood toe-to-toe, or gone head to head, maintaining my position, not budging, because I believed I was right. Looking back, I now realise, all I did was prove a point without making progress or developing relationally.

Rugby is one of those odd sports that to go forward, the ball has to travel backwards. The motion of passing the ball is a prime example - you must make sure the line of travel is not in front of you. In set play (a scrum or a lineout), the ball can actually travel 10-15m or more, back from the point at which the play started. Once the ball has travelled forward and past the point it started from, the team has crossed the gain line.

There is method in the apparent madness - by passing the ball slightly behind you, the next man can run onto the ball at pace and build momentum.

American Football is another exampe of the ball travelling back to ultimately go forward. The ball pops back from the line of scrimmage and to the quarterback (provided he isn't sacked) who launches it forward to a receiver who is running at pace.

Taking a leap requires momentum to bridge a gap - that requires us to back up and take a run at our target. Yet in life, in our realtionships we all too often crash away at the same old same old, making little difference, damaging what we are trying so hard not to.

Taking a step back not only allows us to regain momentum, but it often opens up another route forward - passing a ball along a line of players moving at pace, opens up options that are not available by simply crashing into the man in front of you every time you gain possession.

The bible has an interesting insight into the mindset of the man of men: Jesus Christ. It describes his attitude to the incredibly daunting prosepct he faced, after he had been tried and condemned to die - despite his innocence. He knew what was ahead of him and yet he is described as confronting death with a sense of what lay beyond it - "for the experience of knowing what lay beyond his personal loss, for others, he endured the cross, not considering the shame attached to it". On the face of it, the cross looked like a massive backward step and yet three days later and ever since, the impact of what he did is still being felt.

In what seemed like a massive step backwards, paying the ultimate price made it possible for anyone, through faith, to be propelled across a line, they couldn't have crossed alone. It was the ultimate stepping back to reach for the gain line.

The essence of team is about sacrificing self interest for the greater good. The nature of true relationship is about sacrificing self interest for the greater good. Maybe it's worth thinking about taking a step back, shifting a position, to cross your personal gain line.

1 comment:

  1. I concur - in theory if not always in practice.
    Thanks. Good one.