If your household is anything like ours, then you’ll have noticed that there seems to be a lot of football on at the minute, as teams from the world over compete for the coveted World Cup trophy, and like with any big international sporting event, it brings with it thousands upon thousands of fans from every nation.
Some of the crowd highlights at Russia 2018 has to be the support from Peru arriving in their thousands, telling stories of how they gave up their jobs, sold their cars, and even borrowed money from the bank to support their team as they compete in their first world cup since 1982. (Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44549615)
Not only the fans, but Peru themselves went to the effort of creating these cracking videos to send to each of their opponents in the lead up to the world cup. Here’s the video they sent to Australia.
Now, that’s all a little over the top just to watch a few rich men kick a leather ball around a field for 90 minutes, I hear you cry. Well, maybe you’re right, but tell me you didn’t find that video even a little moving?
I don’t think that video is so engaging because it’s about football, nor is it really because they haven’t been to the world cup for over 30 years. I think the reason that video grabs us is because it shows passion. It shows a people group who have wholeheartedly, wholly invested everything they had into reaching a goal, and supporting their fellow countrymen as they do the same.
On the face of it, football is all about winning and losing, and to some people, that’s all it is. However, as a football fan, I am always amazed at how different a reaction is when a team loses after giving a half hearted performance, as opposed to when a losing team has given everything they have. You’ve probably heard phrases such as ‘as long as we leave it all out on the pitch’, and ‘we’ve given 110% today’ banded around a lot. If a team shows passion, losing doesn’t matter half as much.
It is human nature to be instinctively attracted to passion.
I don’t think there’s anything more inspiring than raw passion. When you see a runner finishing a marathon somehow finding it in her to go for a sprint finish, or when you see a mum so engaged with her children that she seems unaware of her surroundings, or maybe you remember that teacher at school that loved their subject so much that you ended up loving it too.
Passion is infectious.
In the same way, I believe passion is the single best way Christians can share their faith. More than that I think it’s all God is really looking for, our heart.
We can spend hours discussing song keys, song choice, how we arrange the chairs on a Sunday, what time the tea and coffee gets served, where the hymn books are kept, but truthfully who cares? Someone who has never darkened the doors of a church before couldn’t care less about what colour the carpet is, or whether the band is on the right or the left of the church, what they care about is passion.
They care about whether these people really believe what they’re saying? Whether they really live out this message of Jesus unashamedly in every aspect of life.
So is this something that just comes naturally? Or does it require work?
Yes. To Both.
Passion might be a natural instinct in many ways, but it’s also really important to realise that true passion also takes dedication, discipline and determination. It requires surrender and sacrifice, much like the jobs, money and time those Peruvian fans gave up to support their country.
So when it comes down to our faith, and how we live it out, let’s make no mistakes. It will require everything we have, and at times it might even seem a little over the top. But for the God we worship, it’s certainly worth it.
P.S – if you’re not a football fan, you might be wondering if Peru’s passion paid off? Well, they went out in the first round. But they did beat Australia 2-0, so the video must have worked!