As I type, splendid news of our cricketers’ wonderful performance against the Australians pours forth from my radio – except when the young man with the wire in his ear walks past when everything goes a bit whistly.
But fear not. I am not about to bore all you non-cricketers out there with an in-depth analysis of this monumental Test match, despite its great similarity to many of Jesus’s challenges as he moulded and taught his team of apostles to keep a straight bat and not be tempted by the googly.
Indeed not. Instead, I would draw your attention to another sporting wonder – the Tour de France – and its unique parallels with Our Lord’s time on earth.
As far as we know, Jesus did not ride a bike. But he did have a dedicated team behind him, just as Wiggly (now Sir Wiggly) Braggins had when he was victorious, and as Chris Fume depends upon as I type. Teams, like God, work in mysterious ways, and few are more mysterious than cycling teams. What appears to happen is as follows; one rider in each team is The Chosen One and the rest of the team help *him or her as best they can by protecting him or her from other teams which might seek to push The Chosen One over, or by shouting encouragement, e.g. “Come on Wiggly, old chum!” Eventually, The Chosen One gets more points than other teams’ Chosen Ones and is declared the winner. Complicated stuff, what? Not unlike the arcane goings-on in sailing wherein a gun or hooter goes off and everybody sails in circles until the race ends.
As in cycling and sailing, so it is in Life. Lots of argy-bargy and indecipherable rules until the finishing line is crossed. You may not be first over that line, but if whilst sailing round in circles or avoiding being pushed over by foreign types, you will have amassed enough points for someone who knows what’s going on to declare you the winner.
And, as we all know, God knows what’s going on.
*easy to tell the difference. Ladies’ bicycles don’t have cross bars.