Every little thing counts

[notice]A monthly Christian sport column by Cobus Kruger, a professional triathlete who is passionate about evangelism, leadership and community development through sport.[/notice]

The Cricket World Cup is in full swing and not long after that the Rugby World Cup will follow. As South Africans who love our sport we always hope to win both of these World Cups. But if we look at the past, we see that things didn’t always go as we hoped.

I will never forget the day we played the Australians in one of the Cricket World Cup semi-finals. We had to score at a high rate as we batted second, and Lance Klusener came in and got us up to that high run rate with a great batting innings up to the last over of the game. At that stage we were also on our last wicket. The pressure started to build, and there was a near run out. The near run out put more pressure on Lance and Allan Donald at the crease. And there it happened — a run out caused by confusion with a few balls still to come, and we fell out of the World Cup….

South Africa’s Dave Miller on his way to a blistering century in a recentCricket World Cup contest with Zimbabwe. (PHOTO: The Independent )

A few years later we got ourselves also in one of the playoff games to proceed to the finals. It was a rainy day, as we played against Sri Lanka. We batted second again and as the rain disrupted play again the winning result had to be determined by the “Duckworth Lewis Method’. We thought that we were ahead in the score according to this method but in fact we were just on it. So we walked off the field thinking that we had the win, but we needed one more run to win the game according the “Duckworth Lewis method”. We didn’t calculate the score correctly, and there we were, out of the World Cup again…

If there is one thing that we learned out of these two World Cup playoff games,it is that every little thing counts. If Donald and Klusener in the first game for example had used the opportunity to step out and speak  to each other after the near run out, and made a plan together to get the winning runs, then the confusion-driven run out probably would not have happened. If the coaching staff in the second World Cup playoff for example had doubled checked, and informed the batsmen on the field that they needed just one more run, then they would probably have gone through to the finals. But lack of those little things that we tend to take for granted twice took our Proteas out of a World Cup final.

Personal experience
Not too long ago I realised once again in one of my triathlon races how important it is to get the little things right in order to secure a big win. I had a good swim, but then made a slow transition which threw me out of the strong cycle pack into a weaker pack. A little thing like a transition can make or break your race….. And at the end, our overall performance and position in life is hugely affected by our attention to many little things.

Let’s win our daily race of life by doing the “little things” in our life in Love. The “little things” like husband to love your wife like Christ loved the church. The “little things” like making time for your family and kids in the midst of your stressful and busy lives. The “little things” like just listening to the heartbeat of people around you, without judging or try to give self-endorsed advice, just listening and supporting and loving the people around you with the Love of Jesus…

These things may seem little, but the fact is that without these little actions our lives are only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal and amount to nothing, as Paul explains it in 1 Cor 13: 1-8: “13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.”

Love well
You see, one of the things that we think is little in live is Love. But the fact is that families, marriages and relationships in and out of the church get destroyed because of the lack off this so called “little thing” — Love. All over we see parents, husbands and wives putting provision for each other and their family ahead of the Love and time they need to provide for each other.

Let’s do some self -investigation into the “little things” in our lives, so that we can complete our race of life and win the prize as Paul explains in in 1 Corinthians 9: “24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

We don’t want to fail at the end, just because we could not get the little things right in our lives.

Every little thing counts……. Love!!!!!!!!

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