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

Saturday, 7 April 2012

I believe we can fly...

Some things can only be achieved by a leap of faith.......
Have you ever wondered how far you could go? How much you could achieve? I guess we could all confirm our aspirations and just as equally, we could recite our list of reasons for not climbing higher or stretching further. 

We seem to have a knack for settling - but don't you just sense there's more out there? There's more to be achieved, accomplished, lived out? You see, I believe we can fly...

In rugby union, there is a set piece play called a lineout. This play takes place if the ball has either been kicked or carried out of the field of play. The game restarts by the team in possession throwing the ball down a mid-line between two rows of players. Each side will have a series of coded calls designed to mask their intentions from the opposition. However, the primary purpose of a call is to engage a specific player - to get him off the ground, to get him moving, to let him know - this ball is yours.

I took this picture at a championship game and it so neatly sums up for me the essence of reaching further, climbing higher, being on the stretch for more. 

As a man of faith, I believe God wants every man to have purpose as a man and be a man with a purpose. In other words, for men to realize that they have intrinsic value in who they are and in discovering that, to use who they are for a cause - to meet a need, to provide, to help, to support, to add strength, to add weight. Who wouldn't want to be a better man, a better husband, son, brother or friend?

I love the drama of the photograph:
  • the player has jumped in response to a call 
  • he has the support of his team mates to lift him, to give him a boost, to take him higher
  • the ball is meant for him
  • if he takes it, the entire team benefits
  • does he catch it?
The crucial dynamic at work in taking possession of what is intended for him, is for the player to jump at the right time and take a hold of what's coming his way. Now that requires strength, courage and a sense of timing. I read recently that on average a ball will be caught something like 3m to 3.5m off the ground. That would place a players head something like 10 feet off the ground - now that's a long way to fall - but you know, if we take a risk, I believe we can fly...

Sure the player in the picture is under pressure:
  • he has to trust the call and the thrower
  • he will have the challenge of the opposition
  • he will have the expectation of his team mates
  • he will have the anticipation of the crowd and
  • he will have the watchful eye of the referee
But....unless he jumps, he may never catch the ball that was intended for him.
The great thinker and writer Paul wrote these wise words of guidance for men in the bible..."I want to get hold of what God has got a hold of me for"...Sure, there are many reasons for us staying on the ground, but what about allowing for the possibility that there may just be more? Paul is saying I know there is more and I want to take hold of it with both hands. I want to get to grips with the man I know God wants me to be.
That moment of being in the air, stretching upwards to take a hold of the ball is exhilarating, but you're going to come down pretty soon and that's exactly where we re-engage with the game - with the ball!!

There is a call that God has coded just for you. We have to trust that call and the thrower. Its a call to join a noble cause, a call to purpose, a call higher, to stretch further. Its like the ball that has your name on it. But how far could you go? How much could you achieve? If we are prepared to trust the call and take that leap: I believe we can fly....

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