So much emphasis in the media has been on how young the current England football team is. Ironically the young England players found it harder to cope with the heat than their Italian opponents in their recent world cup match. Some of them were so affected that they collapsed with cramp towards the end of the match.
I was so encouraged by most of the England performance but the last 15 minutes was some of the most painful football (although not as painful as Phil Neville’s commentary) that I have ever watched. There were so many miskicks and bad passes from the English players and yet the Italians seemed relatively unaffected by the conditions. The players were clearly exhausted and this meant that they were not able to perform as they had done earlier in the match.
I have been trying to work out what went wrong (and so has Roy I’m sure) and then it dawned on me. Our players had been encouraged to play with pace and I think that they were so busy sprinting around that they couldn’t last the 90 minutes.
Life is a marathon not a sprint! I think we all need to go places and achieve great things but there is no point being so busy that we burn out.
When you run through life you will get tired.
How do we create a good pace to life so we don’t feel like we are collapsing? God has given us the Sabbath as a day of rest, some people get hung up on what day it should be on but to me the principle of a day of rest is more important than the day it is on. In amongst the ten commandments there is this command from God for
us you to rest, that is how important it is to him.
I remember a time when I worked every hour I could, I was leading a rapidly growing church and there was lots to do. I worked hard every day of the week and I thought God was pleased with me as I put his church first. Then one Sunday I was preaching about the sabbath and as I prepared and preached I realized that in my eagerness to please God, I was actually sinning against him. I was able to confess this to the church and have tried to make it a priority to take a day off work each week ever since. You can read more about my recent change to slow down even more here.
A Bible verse that always used to puzzle me is; ‘my soul finds rest in God’ (Psalm 62.1) because to me rest was sitting still or doing something relaxing. I have always found prayer helpful but it had never occurred to me that meeting with God was the place that we can find pure rest. I guess this is why the Sabbath for the Jews was a day of rest and a day of worship.
Are you tired and stressed. Take some time to talk to God. Bring your tiredness to him, pour it out in prayer and then ask him to fill you with his Spirit and to renew your strength.
I’ll leave you with these words from Isaiah 40 to reflect on.
28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint
May we turn to and trust in God and allow him to give us his power and strength.