Monday, July 11
#yesterdaydaily | Episode 085
Yesterday, I joined the rest of the world to watch the Euro 2016 final match between Portugal and host country, France. (Well, to be honest, I only saw the last 25 minutes of the extra time…when the game was already very tense).
I’m not a ‘football person’ in that sense, but the few times I watch important matches like that, I keep looking out for lessons to learn. So I thought to share a few with you. They are quite obvious, but it’s good we remind ourselves of the obvious once in a while…
1. If I heard the analysts on BBC sports correctly, going by the previous rules that governed this tournament in previous years, Portugal won’t even go beyond the group stage of the competition because they came 3rd in their group. But UEFA introduced a new law just before this tournament to qualify the best losers at the group stage to proceed to the second round of the competition. And that new policy became Portugal’s visa to the finals.
Prayer Tangent: May the Lord permit policy changes at different levels that will usher you into your greatness in Jesus name!
2. Building on that first point, the new policy favoured Portugal at the group stage solely because they were, in fact, the *best loser!* In other words, wherever you find yourself, just do your best and leave the rest! They did their best (which ordinarily wasn’t good enough, but the policy-change intervention became their leverage because even in their being unqualified, they gave their best!)
3. I learnt that since 1975, for 10 times consecutively that France and Portugal had met, Portugal never won. But last night, that history was changed! The tide turned in the favour of Portugal.
Prayer Tangent: May the Lord turn the tides in your favour in the course of the last half of this year in Jesus name!
4. The most important player in the Portugal team (C. Ronaldo) couldn’t make it beyond half of the first half. He got an unbearable injury and had to be carried off the pitch in tears on a stretcher. Ordinarily, that would have been a great loss for the Portugese team (and it was!) but it turned out to me to be God’s way of saying “the race is not always to the swift and the battle is not always to the strong…” It became obvious that God is capable of using the weak things to confound the mighty…
Prayer Tangent: May He express Himself s such in your life in the name of Jesus.
5. In my own estimation, the referee’s mistake in awarding a free-kick for a misjudged hand-ball and even booking the wrong player a yellow card a couple of minutes to the winning goal contributed to the winning goal. It is only reasonable that the French defenders were being too careful in attacking Eder before he took that winning shot lest someone gets a second yellow card and gets sent off the pitch. That’s so not fair…like God’s grace! But, yeah, as much as it’s not fair, sometimes, God permits the errors of man to make way for His counsel to stand. That’s why He is God, init? Prayer tangent: May He turn other’s mistakes to your opportunities in the name of Jesus!
Bonus: Why did many of us stay up late to see the match to the very end? Broader still, why do so many of us get so interested in sports? There are many answers to that but a fundamental one is this: SEEING PEOPLE WIN APPEALS TO THE WINNER IN US!
There’s a part of you that feels like “that should have been me in Serena William’s shoes” or “I should be the next C. Ronaldo” (for the records, I have a personal disinterest in the guy ?). We all want to be winners. And guess what? If you live a fruitful life as a believer, maximising every opportunity you have to be secretly incredible, when you get to heaven, you will not only have made it to God’s eternal presence, but He will personally award you with the reward of your labour in the flesh!
To put it another way, not everyone of us will be “First Class graduates” let alone “Best Graduating Student” (or what have you), but in heaven, the economy of rewards will include you!
Paul wrote to Timothy and made it clear that heavenly rewards aren’t limited to a chosen few; rather, “ALL those who have waited with love for him to come again will receive a crown.” (2 Timothy 4:8) The three-letter word ALL says it all!
all not some
So if you’ve never won much on this side of eternity, that’s okay. You can start looking forward to that magical heavenly-reward-moment…but in the mean time, remain a secretly incredible ambassador of Christ.
I hope that reaches out to one or two of us today.
Here’s today’s #askJesus2day question:
“Jesus, which of these 6 points above is for me❓”
Lord, make my life a testimony of Your limitless abilities IJN.
Joseph Kolawole Ola
PS: #yesterdayDAILY is a daily mentoring retrospective look at the day before which I share exclusively to members of the Alive Mentorship Platform (a whatsapp group). The platform is basically for teenagers and young adults (25 and below) that, by God’s grace, I’m trying to pour into. (That’s why I’ve not been active on facebook in recent times; I’d been focusing more on these upcoming change agents which I feel led to spend this season of my life pouring myself into them). If you will like to be a part, just send a whatsapp message to my whatsapp number: +447752398481 or send me a mail at hello@josephkolawole.org.

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