Updated: Jan 16, 2019
“And we’ll really shake them up when we win the World Cup…”
My memories of Scotland’s 1978 World Cup campaign are…well…the same as everyone else’s. I do remember, though, that it was the first time that I had ever heard such enthusiasm, to say nothing of breath control, from a commentator.
When Argentina, the host nation, scored, it wasn’t just the crisp’ punch in the air’ of ‘One-Nil’, or ‘He’s done it!’, or some other such lukewarm response. No, no; it wasn’t just a goal it was a goooooaaaaaaalllll, and that’s shortening it by some considerable distance.
Big and Small
Apart from the beautiful game, people tend to think of goals in their lives in two ways. The first is as a box to be ticked; the second is much more life changing.
In other words, goals can be small, manageable, ‘bite size’ efforts, or they can consume vast amounts of time and energy, perhaps even a whole lifetime.
But what if they were both? What if accomplishing a small goal was every bit as important and life changing than achieving something huge?
At this time of the year, anyone who goes on about life changes, and are worth their salt, emphasise the great effect small changes can have. I have found that to be true.
If we aim too high, then we can be discouraged when we fail. We’re never sure why we do some of the things we do but steering ourselves in a different direction step by step can help us accommodate and adopt a new attitude.
Big oak trees from little acorns grow, and all that.
The difference with the Christian life is that every time we spend just a little time in prayer, or visit a church, or read scripture, or celebrate the sacraments, we encounter the same loving God as we would if we spent a life time in prayer and meditation.
We meet him with a little time; he meets us with eternity every time.
So, it’s back to our football fanatic from Argentina. When we manage a small time set aside for God, it’s not just a goal achieved, it’s a goooooaaaaaallll!
And even though we might not feel it at the time (we rarely do), even the smallest time opens us up to God’s breathing life into us and giving our souls the enthusiasm for more.
Deep down, we are attracted to God. Every little time in prayer brings that more and more to the surface.
Time for prayer can be just a couple of minutes to start, and it doesn’t matter what type of prayer it is.
Why not set the alarm for two minutes earlier, or go to bed two minutes later? Just think over the day and give thanks for a moment or two or ask for help with the things that are worrying us.
Form that habit and it’s amazing what can happen. Sometimes ending or beginning with a formal prayer like the Our Father can help.