Cricket in the snow. That’s what Matthew Hancock and Matt Coates planned when they set off for an eight-week skiing trek to the magnetic north pole. Among their luggage was a ball and, as a compromise to minimise the weight of their luggage, an inflatable bat. They hoped to play the most northerly game of cricket in the history of the sport. Hockey had been played in the Arctic as long aago as the 182o’s but cricket?! Mr Hancock said he was a great cricket fan and wanted to take his passion with him. “There is a certain satisfaction in taking the game completely out of context.”
Let’s hope the satisfaction compensated for the discomfort. Playing at minus 50 degrees Celsius can hardly have been easy. Indeed situations where behaviour is not appropriate to the context are never easy and those engaging in it can feel distinctly uncomfortable. Many of Jesus’ actions were felt to be out of place by those who set the rules about what was fitting in his time. When he healed on the Sabbath, taught simpler but more rigorous guiding principles for life, claimed to be uniquely one with God, it put him outside what was acceptable and, eventually, outside the city on a cross.
We can sometimes feel out of place socially and decide not to repeat the experience. Usually there’s no need to put ourselves through that discomfort. But sometimes, like Jesus, it’s what we stand for and the way we live our life which makes us different from those around us. Our living of life as we feel it should be lived can make other people uncomfortable. In those situations, there may be good reasons to persevere with our discomfort because we feel we are standing for something which needs to be expressed.
Like Mr Hancock, we want to take with us those things we feel passionate about, wherever we go.
Read: (When praying had been forbidden by Nebuchadnezzar) Daniel went to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem (and) got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. (Daniel 6.10)
Rejoice: in social situations where I feel completely at home and accepted.
Reflect: Are there situations where I adapt my behaviour and tone down my beliefs so that I fit in better?
Remember: There might be allies if I look for them in situations where at present I feel isolated.
Resolve: To focus my enthusiasm on things Jesus would have been passionate about and let it show.