Friday, July 14, 2006

Believe in the power of Love—and soccer

This has been an interesting week. We went from World Cup glory to commuter rail bombings to a shooting war across a volatile borderline. So perhaps it’s fitting that a cricket player in India is bringing the most wisdom to the debate.

This from The Times of India: Sachin urges countrymen to believe in the power of love


[Cricketer] Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday hailed the spirit of Indian people, which he said has helped the country quickly overcome the devastating serial blasts in Mumbai, and urged his countrymen to believe in the power of love.

"It was extremely unfortunate, so many innocent lives were lost. But it has also shown the strength of our Indian people. People were back to work on the same trains the very next day," Tendulkar said.

"This is the strength of Bharat (India), to help each other in difficult times. When we do this, our strength grows, our love for each other grows.

"We have seen people helping others whom they have not known before, giving them water and food. These things happen rarely outside India.

"We have to keep helping each other, it will only strengthen our bonding."

Here’s another story from Newsweek where soccer is actually a metaphor for international relations.

The Pickup Game as a Model for Peace? Sure, there are fouls and penalties, but the spirit of the soccer match brings all races together.


Over the centuries, there have been many utopian schemes for world peace, now mostly consigned to the ash heap of history, but soccer offers a vision of how such a world order might actually work. There are none of the vague platitudes you hear at UNESCO conferences; the sport allows for plenty of competition; it's not just about love and brotherhood, as witnessed by the recent World Cup. People push, shove and sometimes foul. They want to win. But they must subordinate even the fiercest rivalries to the game itself. If a fight breaks out, the game stops. No one wants that.

I just have to quote a familiar passage today, as I prepare for a weekend of CNN-watching and prayer:

One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, "Love thy neighbor as thyself;" annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, — whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.

--Science and Health

And I may need to add soccer ("football") and cricket to my viewing schedule.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 7/14/2006 07:27:00 PM, Anonymous rev. Veronika said...

Every Christianly scientific prayer starts with God, and so does every true answer. My thoughts about anything can in reality only be God Thoughts. God is One. Therefore unity is the answer about sport. To mortal mind it looks like there is a lot of competition but this must be the illusion because there is no competition in Oneness —the allness of God’s creation. Man is always the outcome of God and is the expression of Love itself. Gentleness and patience are qualities of immortal man. The kind of sport we see today is glorifying the body and expressing the thoughts of mortal man, rather than of immortal man.

I am adding this comment which had been my contribution to the question about prayer and sport on
It is also the answer to all tragedies, isnt' it? For there is only one problem and one answer: the belief in separation from God and the acceptance of the Atonement, that is knowing that all is One in Love, always. Amen.


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