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Summary: Gleaning some spiritual lessons from the game of Cricket at a time, Cricket World Cup tourney 2015 in Australia has reached its climactic stage!!!

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CRICKET, CRICKET…

Nothing quite like the sweet sound of the willow striking leather …more so if the Cricket World cup is on. As the game of Cricket originated in the ole English village greens there are some xenophobic souls of the commonwealth comity of nations' (thankfully they are in the minority) who look down upon it uncharitably as a relic of the Colonial past. Here let it be stated that one needs a heart of flesh and a poetic soul to make out and appreciate the old world charm associated with it. While advent of night game, white ball, black sightscreen, colored clothing,T-20 are new welcome changes in a game which takes pride in its tradition, is not cricket stripped of all fanciful trappings still essentially a contest between bat and ball? By the way, are there any spiritual lessons to be derived from this good ole’ game? Plenty….read on…

A GREAT LEVELLER…

If anything, cricket is a great leveller, where David vs Goliath scenes are commonplace. Where else would one find two mismatched (physically) individuals crossing swords? Can anyone bargain to see a compact Rahane (all of 5 ft 5 inches)in a Basketball court pitting his skills against the likes of a towering Pakistani Mohammed Irfan (7 Ft 1 Inch)? For that matter in any other Sport involving more of brawn than brain could anyone have placed a bet on 5 ft 5 inches Lamb bearding tall as beanpole, close to 7 ft “Lion” Bruce Reid in its own den in an ODI in Jan, 1987. Oh yes, is their any sport where a roly-poly Ranatunga can stand-up to an athletic McGrath or a plump Colin Milburn score centuries on behalf of all “fat, jolly men in this World” in Sports presumably meant for lean and mean men? Ah the skill factor, which plays the great leveler!

By the same token, in the Spiritual realm too, when Saviour Jesus comes into the picture with His equipping power, weak folks who wouldn’t normally stand a chance against temptations of the flesh, World (behind which is a powerful devil) can square up to these spiritual foes’ with Savior power and beat em’ up up lock, stock and barrel (Romans 16:20). Howzatt!

There was a time during my teenage when I struggled hopelessly against my debilitating, health-harming addictions which would give me only temporary pleasure but would do in turn permanent harm. In my hopeless condition, it is only when I trusted Jesus to save me from my own bad habits on 16th October 1983 that He released me not from the deadly grip of those addictions but also placed inside me a Holy joy (Romans 14:17/Gal 5:22-23, John 10:10) which He alone can give. When one “tastes” the luxuries of a “7-Star Hotel” which Jesus alone can provide would he ever condescend to stay in any other Hotel (Matt 13:45-46)???

Suffering from addictions?…Want to come out of it? Then say this prayer…”Lord Jesus deliver me from my addictions. I am a hopeless sinner who with his own limited strength cannot conquer them. With your power release me from the grip of my vices and fill me with your Holy Joy. Amen”.

As you are experiencing Divine deliverance (not by human strength), I am sure Holy Joy is filling your heart even as tears of gratitude in experiencing this ethereal release are flowing copiously. Unity please Now praise Him and seek to strengthen your new found faith by finding a local Church to worship Him along with other believers and also by “feeding” on the Bible (1 Peter 2:2-3) with John’s Gospel and Book of Colossians’ as “starters” to begin with.

UNITY PLEASE NOT UNIFORMITY…

The inherent quality of skill playing the balancer ensures that a Cricket team has also in its ranks players of all shapes and sizes. In predominantly a physical game like Basketball or rugby, who would expect to find a short and chirpy Gus Logie rubbing shoulders with a gigantic Joel Garner in the same team or a rotund Greatbatch in the company of a sculpted figure like Richard Hadlee. BUT CRICKET I REITERATE IS A GREAT LEVELLER. Unity in the dressing room would be the key to success, not uniformity.

The Savior power unites all Christians’ right? So we have in the Christian team “all kinds of players” playing with a common goal. Consider this verse…

In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.- Colossians 3:11

PS…Now a “Rider” for Ryder Fans: Eat to live but never live to eat…do not get intoxicated with wine-Pro 13:25/20:1 (TLB)

TEAM COLOURS…

If it is “Cool” to address the Indian team as “Men in blue”, it is just as trendy to use a cliché “Men in green” to describe the team across the Wagah border. In the spiritual realm what team colors do we need to don as Christians and what clothes are we to avoid. Let the Bible take over…firstly the negative part…

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