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

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Men Need the Fight

Back in my playing days we were a mixed bunch of lads. Electricians, farmers, office workers, builders. But as soon as we pulled on the team shirt something happened. We became a team. The shirt is a great leveller. The cause is a great uniting force. There's something powerful when men unite for a common purpose. The physicality of the contact and the hits, the exertion in the scrum and driving mauls. The elation of making the tackle and turning over possession. The ecstasy or the agony at the final whistle - no matter the result we stood together. I have a feeling that whatever we did away for the game, we were better men for being part of something that required us to commit ourselves to others, to excel as individuals but acknowledge that it would take all 15 of us to prevail. We were better men having given something of ourselves to the fight. Men need the fight. But the fight needed men. Today I have to adjust to watching from fhe sidelines or coaching, but there is still enjoyment in the camaraderie and the banter on the touchline. But I still miss the hits, the physical tussles, making the tackles. Today it's a different fight. It's showing the way to the lads coming through, showing this generation the importance of the fight, how to engage as team,  how to excel firstly as men, then as players.  Men need the fight. The man's man Jesus Christ understands the importance and the longing of men to engage in the fight - he pulled together 12 guys from different backgrounds and set them on a course to change the world. He knew they would face tough opposition, criticism and open conflict. But there was a fight. The prize - the liberation of people contained by dead religion or the limitations of sad or inflicted circumstances or the cruelty of tyranny.  That early team were as different a bunch of lads as any rugby, soccer, baseball or football team, but they  were unified by the cause of "the" man.  Make no mistake, when they were asked to take up a cross and follow - they knew exactly what he was asking. But there is no gain without the fight. The great writer and follower of Christ, Paul, understood when he said to his young friend Timothy, fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of the life that really counts and will last beyond just our physical lifespan. He knew that men need the fight.  Men need the fight and perhaps as after the game, we may just be better men for engaging with the cause - better husbands, better fathers, sons, brothers, better friends. Better men. Men need the fight and....the fight needs men.