On, march on, O army of Endeav'rers!
On, march on, with banners wide unfurled;
Strike for right the Lord Himself is with you,
Shout the cry of battle o'er all the world.
...From Sacred Songs and Solos
As I watched the incredible win by an Incredible Indian cricket team, saw the exultant team running their victory laps around the stadium, smiled as they lifted Sachin on their shoulders, I thought it was time we ran such laps of victory in our own individual Christian lives. So today I'm going to stretch the word cricket right across your minds and blow up every letter in that now sacred Indian word to give us Christians a practice session in our march towards victory:
C: What else could the letter 'C' represent, than the Cup, the World Cup! What else did every player focus on, then on that desirable Cup! They dreamed about it in their sleep and every waking moment, and the same should be the case with us. As much as the Cup was their desirable goal, so also should ours be the Cross of Christ. Nothing else should be our purpose than focussing on the Cross, and the telling of the Cross to the people of this our country.
R: R can only be for Runs. As you move towards your goal, are your runs increasing, is your run rate becoming better? Is your life as a Christian improving day by day? Are you still being referred to the umpire and the third umpire for your daily actions, or is every stroke a pure, classic Christ-like sixer?
I: I stands for inspiration! Most of the cricketers spoke of the inspiration they drew from Sachin; who inspires you? When Christ is your inspiration, when His life, His words infuse, inflame and ignite you, will you shout the battle cry over all the world!
C: Character! This winning team had character. Gone was the playboy ways of Yuvraj, or temper tantrums of Harbhajan. They realised a strength within was imperative, that it wasn't just stroke play and technique that would matter, and we Christians who are weak, who are wishy-washy and mild, who sit on the fence, need to build up our insides with a Christ within.
K: Killer Instinct! Our team went into the match with a killer instinct, not to compromise for a draw or lose, but in their matches with Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, they were out to kill. Have you got that same motivation? Are you going all out for Christ, or are you a luke-warm loser?
E: Energy! Yes, raw energy, absolute passion. It was there in every catch caught, every ball fielded. Huge energy! Are you energetic? Passionate about telling others about the Jesus you love? Is there forcefulness and potency seen in your daily Christian life? Or are you misfielding?
T: The last letter is T which I've given for the word Thanks! What thankfulness there was that victorious World Cup day: Thanks to their coach Kirsten, to Sachin, to their captain. Are we, as Christians, filled with thanks for God's gift of salvation, thankful enough to tell others, thankful enough to win people over to Him?
It is a glorious World Cup lesson for us Christians, so march on, O army of Endeav'rers! March on, with banners wide unfurled; Strike for right, the Lord Himself is with you, Shout the cry of battle o'er all the world: Especially India..!