Sometimes I don’t know what to write about for this post. It doesn’t happen often. Just now and again. This is one of those times. So I think back over the last week. What happened that is writing-worthy?


Perhaps Sunday is the day to write about. The preacher I listened to spoke about spending time with Jesus to build a relationship with Him. This is stuff after my own heart and I returned home from church glowing with a quiet joy. A late breakfast, a bit of tidying to get the house ready for the visitors arriving in the afternoon and I settled to have a relaxing and enjoyable time watching a bit of tennis and a touch of cricket.


It did not turn out like that did it? For those who don’t enjoy watching sport, or are unable to do so, maybe you will not understand the agony of two incredible matches. I had been sent a picture of my brother-in-law with the Wimbledon final showing on the TV, and the World Cup cricket live-streaming on his computer.

‘That’s a good idea,” I thought, and set up my computer to do the same.


It was fine to start with. Exciting at times, tense at the end of every set or the taking of every wicket but I managed to make myself a cup of tea at one stage. As time passed the tension grew. We began the fifth set at Wimbledon, and the run rate seemed to inch higher one run by one run with the occasional boundary thrown in for good measure at Lords.

7-7, 8-8 … 12-12. I can’t remember the runs required for the number of balls but it was pretty hectic.

Final set tie-break. Super Over.


My eyes were flicking from one screen to the next, thinking that a point at Wimbledon was a run at Lords and vice versa. My brain could not keep up. I had spent six weeks watching cricket and did not want to miss the end of the match; and I had spent two weeks watching Wimbledon (my favourite sporting event) and did not want to miss the first final to end in a fifth set tie-break.

What to do? What to do?


My brain staggered into solution mode. I froze the screen on the computer and concentrated on the tennis. I had been cheering for Roger (often aloud even though I was alone), but I enjoy Novak too so was happy with the end result when it came, letting out the tension in a sigh of satisfaction.

But now, what about the cricket? It was the sort of play I watch through open fingers, not wanting to see but not wanting to look away. Two runs needed off the final ball. Who would win? The tension was high, even for me, and I could not imagine what it was like in one of the crowds of spectators in the UK or New Zealand. The ball was bowled, the shot taken …

I don’t need to tell you the result. I don’t know enough about cricket rules to know whether the decision was right or not. But I was born in the UK. I have family in NZ. I had been torn before the match as to whom I was supporting. Follow your heart, I was told, so England inched forward as the match progressed. But there was no doubt whom I supported when the result came in and I whooped and hollered with the best of those at Lords, although perhaps with less restraint!


All this for two sports matches!

“Run the race,” Paul says, “go for the prize.” What happens when our race is run and we go through the gates of heaven to receive our prize – the crown of life – presented by Jesus Christ Himself? Will the crowds cheer? Will we in turn cheer those who come behind us? Could it be like Wimbledon or Lords?

Or will it be even better?


Time will tell.

About Mandy Hackland

My love in life is to encourage others to deepen their relationship with God. I write devotional material, stories and small group studies with that in mind. I live in South Africa and also love spending time in the bush, bird watching and walking. I have moved to the coast and am enjoying the green spaces and beautiful vistas that surround me, reminding me of God's grace every day.
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