Monday, 19 January 2009

faith in football

One thing dominated radio five live whilst I was in the car on Friday – is he, that is Kaka, worth 120m euros? Inevitably, the fact he’s made no secret of his Christian faith came into the discussions – that, at least, pleased me in that Christian faith is till newsworthy. What was also interesting was the expectation he might turn around and say the money doesn’t matter to me, I won’t go. We’ll see – how much his own personal choice will come into this one remains a big unanswered question. On Thursday evening a group of us went to watch Bristol Rovers play Liverpool in the under 18 FA youth cup. Were we watching a future star of similar stature to Kaka – who knows? We talked about making our own choice on the evidence we saw and comparing notes in six years time – many of those from Liverpool were only 15. Obviously, it’s not just being good enough technically as a footballer, which will make the difference between success and failure. I’ve been reading a book called ‘Outliers’ recently, by Malcolm Gladwell, about this very question – what is it that makes the difference. He looks at well known people such as Bill Gates and the rest and concludes it’s not merely about ability. No surprises, but the emphasis he puts (and backs up) on environment is what interests me. Quite often I hear about a Minister who’s commended on the basis of where he/she’s come from – and so often the commendation is backed up by reality. Translate that into the wider Christian scene and it suggests it becomes reasonable to expect more of an individual because they belong to a Church!?!?

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