Archive for the 'Sport' Category

World Cup dreams (football)

footballThe following is a true story… well actually, it is true that I dreamed this dream last night.

As Brazil was losing to Netherlands in the World Cup third place match (they were 2-0 down at that time) , I fell asleep and I dreamed that I was in the Brazilian team, as a defender (no joke, I really dreamed this! I don’t even like football that much, and so it was all the more crazy.)

Anyway… I was a Brazilian defender… and another team (not necessary Netherlands) was on the attack. A foul led to a free kick near the goal box. And I was marked to stand in the defensive line on the far left of the line. The kicker kicked and the ball flew past me on my left… the kick was not that fast… but I just missed it… and the ball rolled pass the goal line. Interestingly, even as I was dreaming… before the kicker kicked… I remember thinking that the kicker will try to kick past me on the left… even before it happened. However, when it happened, I was still unable to stop it.

Then… goal number two… another attack on the Brazilian goal… this time… as a defender I stood at the goal line, to the left of the goal-keeper to cover the goal as the attackers grew close enough to shoot. I remember thinking that they will probably kick straight towards my right and that’s exactly what happened… and even though I knew what was going to happen, again I saw the ball go past me, and to another goal. I missed.

When I woke up… Brazil had lost 3-0… but it really felt like I was “living” the moment of Brazil’s loss. I had seen the 7-1 humiliation to Germany. And now this 3-0 loss was just more pain. So dreaming this dream was probably expected… I had taken the loss a little personally… and had empathised with the Brazilian defenders.

But I also remember thinking that failure sometimes happens even when you know the answers… when you know what to do. In my dream… I could pre-empt the attackers… I knew what would happen… and yet I was not fast enough to execute that defence… I was not able to stop the ball. I obviously felt sympathy for the actual Brazilian defenders.

But this also reminded me about how (in theology) we aim to know/speak the right answers, but that is so very different (even hard) to actually perfectly follow the right answers. We may know what to do, but so often we are unable to do what we know we should do.

Anyway… that’s enough world cup theology for now. At least I had another sport to talk about other than cricket! :)

(St) Paul against/for Sports?

1 Corinithians 9:24-27

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

This is a popular passage, often used to liken the Christian walk to the discipline of sports.

Yet does this passage actually suggest that Sports is ‘good’? or that some parts of sports are good?

Or is even Paul pointing out the negatives of sports?… ie. Sports is this… BUT the Christian walk is THIS.

Anyway… I interpreted the latter… and my supervisor chided me saying that Paul was positive about sports… which I am not totally convinced about…

But at least he positively suggested that perhaps rather than thinking that Paul was against sports… at least it is fair to say that the positives of sports are superseded by Christian discipleship.

20/20s Make One Days look like Test Matches

it’s true. Watching the Asia Cup, and watching the 20/20 stars perform or not perform, there is plenty of talk about how 20-20 batsmen need to change their game to adapt to the “longer” version of the game, to show more patience and build an innings. similarly there are calls for more stability and maturity… all said/asked about 5-day Test Matches in comparison to One Day Internationals (ODIs) not too long ago.

This is ironic… but still I think there’s plenty of cricket to go around… meaning… suddenly there is a new appreciation of the “intelligence” behind ODI players… and the call to grow into mature cricketers. similarly, strategies need to be adapted accordingly. Making the ODI watching experience all the more fun.

What does all this have to do with theology? Nothing really, but what the heck! Sport (cricket) is fun!

(ps. I’m so glad/relieved that India made it to the Asia Cup Finals. Now all “we” need to do is WIN IT!)

Eeeks! Bangalore lost again

There’s nothing (overtly) theological about this post… but still… today Bangalore lost it’s IPL encounter with Punjab and is almost effectively ousted from the tournament (ie. no semi-final berth for Bangalore).

Why should I bother about the fact that Bangalore (not even India) lost yet another IPL cricket game today (against Punjab).

Could it be because I’m living in Bangalore right now?

Or because I like Dravid, Kumble and co.? (I really do!)

Or is it because somehow we support underdogs? (even though they only win in fairy tales)

Whatever the reason, it’s evident that Bangalore is NOT making it to the IPL semi-finals. That shouldn’t be a surprise, actually… but still, that’s the truth, and it hurts!

Of course I wonder whether it is healthy to care about sport. After all, it’s not as if “I” or something directed to “me” is playing.

But then, why do I cheer for “India” when it’s actually a BCCI team (in international cricket) that is playing. Even if it is “India”, it isn’t actually “India” that’s playing, but a bunch of over-paid average-talent sports stars. Why should I care?

Christianity Today carried a story on sports… (American Football) and whether it is appropriate for Christians to participate in sport.

All I can say, right now, is that Sport does lead to a lot of waste of time… and it feels really bad to lose, especially that’s when the wasted time really feels wasted…

but if we win, whatever “we” is… the joy, the elation, is so great, that the time wasted doesn’t seem wasted… because it is an experience shared with a larger group of people… gives us something to talk to… feel good about… to share.

Right now, however, with Bangalore’s loss… I’ve wasted a lot of time… and there’s absolutely nothing to “share”!


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Passage for this Season

Philippians 2:11-13 (NIV) (12)Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (13)for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.