The Difference Maker

Sometimes in life we are asked to choose between a situation that will benefit over something we really want.  From the footballer who has the option to go for goal or pass the ball to someone in a better position. Or the defender who courageously puts their body on the line to intercept without a thought about the injury they will sustain. I believe the decision is based on a question of team success against personal glory? I would argue that the choice you make will determine your influence and standing amongst the team and its ultimate success. Thus, it highlights what is your priority your own or the team’s attainment?

Additionally, on the theme of personal gain in contradiction of selfless action for the greater good I have recently been watching the Last Kingdom. In this series it could be argued that the central character Uhtred is manipulated by the Danes and the English and Kings and Queens for their own power and riches. Often Uhtred is torn by the Danes who raised him after his English family were defeated in battle and the English Kings who give him a purpose to reclaim his family’s lands which are his birthright. Hence, he is conflicted by loyalty to the Danish who spared his life and the English royalty who by winning battles bring him closer to the prize of being the Lord of the Castle and the Lands he was born into. Unfortunately, the more battles he wins the further away he seems from achieving his goal. What drives Uhtred to continue fighting? I would argue Uhtred’s intrinsic motivation doesn’t come from winning the battles for the Lords he serves but for the people who live in those lands.

Finally, Jesus didn’t just make a personal sacrifice for a team, or a country but for the whole world. Jesus engaged people with his teachings despite opposition from the ruling power and the religious authority at the time who plotted then eventually succeeded in bringing about his death. The miracles he performed illustrated God’s power and changed people’s lives not only physically but spiritually. Therefore, people moved by his words and actions begin to the spread the good news of God’s Kingdom throughout the world by teaching and living his Gospel values.  Jesus then made a promise to all people who followed him,“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17.

So, although unselfish acts by sports people can lead to victory, or a warrior fighting to win a battle the true difference maker is Jesus’ whose death and resurrection generated millions of followers throughout the world today aspire to living his Gospel values.

My Father

Just recently we celebrated Father’s Day. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to celebrate Father’s Day with my dad/Chris as he has passed on however, I would like to share some special moments I spent with him.

One of the activities that we did together was go to the Australian Football games together. My dad and supported a local suburban team called Norwood each season for about 25 years we went to nearly every game. We shared in the highs and lows of our teams wins and losses. We talked over the phone nearly every day about our teams and the opposition’s players, coaches and the past and upcoming games. Also, we would always go out and celebrate after a win or commiserate after a loss. It was a common interest that sealed a special bond between us with my dad inviting me to engage in his passion.

Another event where I would like being with my dad was family events. My dad was extremely popular amongst his and my mum’s family whether it be sporting activities with our extended families or eating and drinking around a barbecue.  I always remember my father playing tennis against my uncle who was very competitive. My father would play a trick shot, where he could get a drop volley just over the net and then it would spin back over his side of the net.  This would rile my uncle throwing his racquet much to the amusement of everyone watching.  My dad really loved spending time with his family he was a great relationship builder.

Furthermore, one of dad’s keen hobbies was gardening. We lived on a double block with a nice green lawn, hydrangeas, agapanthus, daisies and daffodils in the front yard and almond, walnut, apricot, plum, peach and lemon trees and rows of tomatoes, cucumber and tomatoes in the backyard. My father seemed to have like a semi market garden flourishing in the back of his block. In fact, he featured in a display for suburban market gardeners at the Migration Museum. I particularly enjoyed the fruits of his labour and nature’s bounty from our fruit and nut trees and plants.

Finally, my dad had great belief in God. He celebrated Mass regularly and prayed every day. His faith was passed onto to my family who are all regular churchgoers thanks to his powerful witness. Consequently, my Father influenced me in my faith, passions, utilising my talents to develop and appreciate relationships with everyone I encounter and valuing the gift of creation that can be reaped from working with nature. All aspects that embrace proclaiming the good news of God’s kingdom.

My Dad is on the right at my  Baptism.