While in the normal realm of physics there are 4 directions (left, right, up, down) Messi seems to move in only three: he doesn’t go down. Push him, pull his shirt, karate kick him, slide tackle him, poke his eyes out, and he still has the ball at his feet moving towards the goal.
I am not going to put him as an example of Christian life. I don’t know enough about him. Nevertheless, the way he plays is truly exemplar: if there is a way to persevere, to continue the play, he finds it. What propels him? Only a guess, but I would say the love of the game.
Laziness pulling at your shirt? Gossip taking you down from behind? Lust pushing you to do things you regret? Parent’s divorce kicking you where it hurts the most? Mass a sprint too long for the lungs to handle? Forgiveness that ball you’re sure you can never reach? Holiness that goal blocked by too many defenders? Persevere! Eye on the ball, breathe, and move forward!
Messi is a man of enormous talent. We are people of enormous grace. In order to overcome the many obstacles and temptations in our lives we must decide to cooperate. And with this we can be confident that we will advance; we will reach our goal.
“Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?” (Romans 8, 35)
Image source: Marc Puig i Perez @ Flickr