Across the globe billions are tuned in to the international global fantastical football “FIFA World Cup”.
For my friends in the US you may know that as “soccer” and regard it as some sideshow to your superior “World Inclusive” competitions of “proper sport” that (to the outside world) usually encompass an insular definition of “international global”.
Please forgive my indulgence – our national team won their first match last night (and there has already been some questionable cross-Atlantic banter on the subject).
But what impressed our small country of England is the fact that our fresh, young and untried national team broke a couple of expecteds! The first was to remain composed under pressure – and the second was not giving up – not even in the dying seconds (when the game was won through an opportunistic goal).
We have become familiar with our national football team finding themselves at a loss when things go against them, we have seen their expected and proven accepting of the result before the result.
And ”the result before the result” was so often an expected draw (good) or defeat (more usual).
Most of my life I am pretty good at that. I don’t think I am alone. So the few times something different happens are always memorable. And this one was was massive.
It was the expected (and agreed) loss of love and relationship. A loss expected by all concerned: the crowd of supporters and detractors (friends and family) – the two participants (now publicly on opposite sides – which changes everything!) … Everyone expected the result before the result.
I chose counselling in order to avoid insanity – that mindset when nothing else than “the result before the result” (and a knowing that nothing I could do would be enough to change the result before the result) is all that matters.
So I accepted it and prepared accordingly: counselling kept me sane by supporting whatever I wanted – except for one thing … Counselling offered no help in fixing this – only ways of coping with “the result before the result”.
(and that was so important)
Because it allowed my mind an intermittent calmness in the middle of the storm. It allowed me to be lulled to sleep each night reading the bible. It allowed me to think sideways in long conversations with God Soft Hands Jesus. And it allowed God Soft Hands Jesus to challenge my acceptance of the “result before the result” (in a very scary way!).
GSHJ offered a scary invitation in that intermittent calm place:
“Now what are you going to do?”
And the “details” are important, but not relevant to this post. What was and is important to me (then and now) is this:
I hear so much dissent about God … much academic speculation and theological gymnastics … so much incestuous impregnating each other with “I am right and you are wrong” … it is crazy!
And the outside world – the “Lost World” – looks on and thinks “What a bunch of crazies!” And they are right. So much jarring noise about something beautifully personal.
“Now what are you going to do?”
Began the process of NOT accepting the result before the result. Counselling could not. Friends and family – whether supporters or detractors – did not. The other “participant” could not. Even I did not. No one on this planet did or could.
And I look back on that time and “thank God” he could – and did.
So for all those who need to be right … for all those who find reason to dismiss my little story as “physical and chemically induced electrical connections entirely explainable” by science … for all those who tell me that is interesting story but God is so much more … for all those who will not “get” my little story … I don’t care.
And here is why.
That one moment changed AND healed me. Just as every “usual method” is intended to change and heal: counselling … prescription drugs … advice and friendship … love and support … even mediation … And if any of those had “worked” no one would have blinked an eye. But add “God” … ?
Now everyone has a theological viewpoint.
If God works for me … if God changes AND heals me … does it really matter whether I am right or wrong … whether you are right or wrong?
My “result before the result” never happened – and NO ONE on this earth expected that (not even me). But now I do expect. Now I know the result before the result is not the result –
Unless I allow it to be.