Congratulations to the Gilgandra Panthers players and supporters as you celebrate hearing that final whistle for the year blow while being on the right side of the ledger. It is a great and sometimes rare moment that can bring exhilaration, often relief, and always-fair and just celebrations.
Having lived most of my life in South Australian I can join in saying the words of a well know advertisement on the T.V. in that while “I don’t know how they take those big hits, but…”. But back in the day having played and coached the Aussie Rules senior footy team in a country town similar in size to Gilgandra I well remember the feeling of admiration I had, in win or loss for those sitting next to me in the sheds that had gone the distance during the year and that last game. A significant “one off” type of moment like finding the love of your life, the birth of your children and the many blessings we receive to rejoice in, celebrate and talk of in the years to come. Moments that we remember as so we do to the loss of loved ones, the hardships and the cruelty that life can dish up.
Our lives are ever changing and others opinions of us and indeed ours of ourselves can be very subjective as we lurch from enjoying a few drinks celebrating and remembering the highest of highs, to unfortunately looking to forget the lowest of lows through the bottom of the same glass.
Based on ourselves and our abilities alone we may occasionally fly high in success and happiness and if that’s where you are at the moment, graciously enjoy them because sooner or later we all hit a downdraft of varying magnitude.
Life can be as subjective as a seven tackle play and if I didn’t know otherwise I might line up with those whose rallying cry is to that of the “Christian hypocrites”. But I don’t because only after properly understanding Christianity later in life, I found it is the same collection of individuals as those of the many sporting clubs I have been a part of. Those of strength and those feeble. Those of courage and those fragile. Those who make right decision in the pressure of the game and those who don’t, and most certainly those who do not profess to be above anyone else in regards to worthiness or importance and that is why we don’t say look at us, but say look at Him who goes by the name of Jesus Christ. Because whether you are in the prime of your sporting years and taking all before you or tiring in age and speed over the paddock, you’re still a football player. Whether you are opening the batting or 12th man, you’re still a cricketer and whether I’m an O.K. preacher or not, I’m still a preacher.
As the years pass we deal with the cards dealt to us and be it a full house or a hand full of junk, Jesus Christ is not subjective and win, lose or draw, He will go the distance with you.
God bless you and if you like me were not as fortunate as the Panthers this year, take heart as its only 369 days until Port Power win next year’s AFL flag.
Pastor Steve Hibbard of the Gilgandra/Dubbo Lutheran Parish.