15 March 2023
The Six Nations: Ready to try
Rob Moye asks if we are prepared to tackle challenges ahead.
Tackles, tries, kicks and ‘heaves’ have been a backdrop to many living rooms in recent weeks, as the six teams compete in the annual rugby union championship.
Ireland are playing inspired rugby, Scotland are shining, France are giving everything they’ve got, Italy are much improved and Wales have been humbled more than once, while England are a work in progress. There is still time for things to change, though, before this weekend's final fixtures on 18 March, as each team started from the same place, from the same line. In sport, success isn’t always immediate – it can take time.
I recently heard a story about someone watching a triple jumper in training. The onlooker presumed that the triple jumper would just run to the pit and jump, and the jump would be ‘the thing’. The jumper hopped and skipped for 40 minutes and only did a few jumps at the end.
After the session, the onlooker asked why they didn’t do the full sequence, to which the triple jumper replied: ‘There is no leap into the pit unless you first learn to take a little hop and a skip.’
Maybe this is a little like our faith lives: a little bit of hopping, a little bit of skipping and a little bit of jumping. We should never dismiss the importance of the first two steps, as there is no jump without the hop and the skip.
For any athlete, whether it’s rugby, triple jumping or another arena entirely, one of the most important things is the preparation and nurturing that goes into training. As Christians, we are called to sow seeds, because it is an act of faith. In 2 Corinthians 9:6, it says: ‘Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.’
When we sow generously, we are trusting that God will provide for us. Like the sower, we need to be cultivating a faith that’s always ready for action.
Is there something you’re trying to achieve in your life? Something you might be cultivating in order that you might take a leap of faith for God and the Kingdom? Might sport be the mission opportunity for you to move out from your secure community to engage his world with genuine love and vulnerability? We may not know what the plan is. However, we will find it along the way with God as he promises he will be with us, that he will make a way and that he will go before us!
What is going on in your community – in the square mile your church is in, at all-weather pitches, in the green spaces, recreation grounds and parks, at the gym, on the running tracks? The question is: would you like to know?
Is there a missional gap or opportunity in your context to start something new? Might God be calling you to join in with something that’s already happening? Pray, prepare and nurture your faith so that you can take the big leap and make the big tackle this year.
Reflect and respond
- How might you consider using sport to engage with others in your context?
- What might the hops and skips be to enable you to engage further with those opportunities?
- What leap of faith are you considering and what’s your next move?
Territorial Sports Mission Specialist, THQ
Cadet Lizzy Kitchenside reflects on the impact the England women’s football team has had on the game and society.
Raising the profile of sport as an arena for mission, worship and discipleship.
A gathering to inspire, equip and educate people for a life of sports mission beyond the event.
Resources for sport and wellbeing.