I’ve been a passionate Hawthorn supporter as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of following the Hawks is of wearing a Hawthorn jumper hand knitted by Mum with Peter Crimmins’ famous number 5 on the back.
So when I was at the G on Saturday watching my beloved team win their 10th flag against the odds, I was ecstatic. However, during the game I also realised that I can be quite an ungracious victor. The thoughts and some of the actions that came out of me during the game were ones which I thought I was rid of. I remember giving one Geelong supporter the stare after he dared to mention that Buddy Franklin was soft. So when Hawthorn kicked the next goal I (from a distance of course) looked at him and pumped my fist at him in defiance. As soon as I did that I thought ‘you idiot’. Then when it was over and the Hawks had done it, I looked around at some forlorn Cats supporters and found myself hoping that they were hurting. After all, they thought they would just have to turn up to win. There wasn’t a whole lot of sympathy in my attitude.
What followed the next couple of days was a sense of well-being that has only come from my faith. I found myself being more friendly, less fearful, less resentful and more willing to help people – all the characteristics of a godly person. Why is it that my sense of well-being is so tied up in whether or not my team wins a football match? As I walked home from work on Monday I realised that this will not last, whereas the peace that passes all understanding, the impossible joy, will last. And that can only come from staying close to God, letting him work in my life with an attitude of thy will be done, not mine.
It seems that winning the premiership was a challenge to my ego, my idolatry and to where I think that life is to be found.