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....

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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Move away tackler

Tackling is an essential component of team sport.

In what is called the contact area referees have to be at thier most observant.

In rugby, once a tackle has been completed, the player has to make an attempt to move away from the tackle and can't hold the opposing player down, handle the ball whilst on the ground or lie over the ball - the result: penalty.

The tackled player also has responsibilities too - they must release the ball, they can't lie on the ball and they can't play the ball with their hand while they are on the ground - the result: penalty.

It all sounds a bit technical, but the spirit of the law is to keep the game flowing and the referee will call a cautionary "move away tackler"

The temptation as a player, is to do the opposite - to try and gain a marginal advantage. It's not surprising that in a sport like rugby or amercian football, the contact area becomes a very "grey" area. The spirit of the law is stretched to the point that the refree intervenes and...well you know the result.

Life has its "contact areas" too - at work, in our liesure times and specifically in our relationships. How we respond in these areas, the decisions we make, set in motion event chains that have consequences - some good, others well...

There's a bible verse (in Galatians)  that I've often wondered about. It's about someone who faces up to a challenge and with God's help meets it head on, but is then told to keep standing. In fact it says "and having done all, stand" - in other words make the tackle and then get back on your feet and be at the ready!

The instruction "move away tackler" is a massive hint to avoid compromise, to keep the game flowing. After all, when you think about it, you're only in play when you're back on your feet. Now,if I'm smart (and quick enough), after I've made the tackle, by getting back on my feet, I actually become first defender.

Life throws us challenges every day. We have to rise to the challenge and battle through. But we all know, its often after we have been at our strongest or tried our hardest, that we are at our most vulnerable. How many times have we seen a team get caught on the counter attack, just after they have scored?

So the verse finds an expanation and I'm confronted with a daily choice.

As I face my daily challenges head on, I have to recognise my responsibility as an attacker and as a defender. I need to make a positive decision to get back on my feet, rejoin the game and become first defender...of all that I value most.

Both success and tiredness can leave us wide open to compromise -thats just the time we need to hear the call "move away tackler!"