How about the huge number of injuries that have impacted many of the teams - particularly those going into the knock-out rounds. Should it really be any surprise? It seems obvious to me that when you get 100+kg men to barge into one another at huge speed, then something is going to give; or when you get a player to do the same motion over-and-over again (like kicking) then the odd strain is inevitable. Add to that the bodies remarkable way of forcing you to slow down in response to stress and it seems quite normal. Even I was knocked out of rugby through injury and that injury still affects me a little today (I have a couple of "Ritchie McCaw" screws in my right foot - I bet you didn't know that!).
So what is the best thing for a Rugby player to do when they're down because of injury? Rest, recuperate, take stock of your life and make positive decisions for the future - even if that won't include another World Cup or winning the Webb Ellis Trophy.
When it comes to our spiritual lives it is no different. Sometimes we do get "taken out of the game" for a period of time. Sometimes we sustain emotional or spiritual "injury". Sometimes we feel like we can't go on and it's all happening around us with no need for us at all. If you feel that way then take courage from a saying that a Pastor friend of mine often says: "If you take a leap of faith and you fall flat on your face, then that's a great place to worship". The Christian life can be hard, it can be painful at times and it can raise a whole lot of questions for us. Instead of letting it take you completely out of "the game", use it as an opportunity to rest; to recuperate; to take stock of your life and to make positive decisions for the future!
Pastor David Auty