Sports, Fantasy and Reality
However, until Sunday it was a good weekend, for me… Ulster won convincingly against Cardiff in the rain on Friday night… Then Saturday morning Ireland put all their fans through the wringer as they won a close encounter with the Aussies in the World Cup… and Glentoran beat Carrick Rangers by a rugby score that afternoon, despite having a player sent off… I was even doing well in my various fantasy sporting endeavours...
Everything was fine until I mentioned on Downtown Radion on Sunday morning that hopefully Liverpool would beat Spurs that afternoon to make my joy complete… I did have to ope my big mouth didn't I...
But even before that, the much misquoted words of former Liverpool manager, Bill Shankly had already come to mind, as I saw the result of the Swansea v West Brom match on Saturday afternoon… Shankly is famous for saying, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, that football is not a matter of life and death, its more important than that… And Swansea’s 3-nil victory this weekend proved that is nonsense… It may be their first ever Premier League victory, but it will mean very little to many of their fans who have been shattered by the loss of the 4 miners in the Gleision Mine disaster just up the road… This follows on the deaths at the beginning of the year of the 29 workers who were killed in the Pike River Mine disaster in New Zealand… And reminds us that, despite the almost miraculous rescue of the 33 Chilean miners little over a year ago, such employment is still enormously dangerous.
It should also make us wary of directly attributing God’s hand to such events… Were the Chilean miners more deserving of rescue than the New Zealand or Welsh ones? Where was God in those events?
He was where he always is. With us in joy and sorrow, in life and death.
Psalm 139: 8-12