new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king

Chasing bubbles

I wonder how Jerry Flannery feels today. He's been looking forward to the 6 Nations for months, he's put in hours of backbreaking work on the training field, and after 2 matches his involvement may be over. All because of a split second of madness. As I write this, Flannery faces the possibility of a lengthy suspension ruling him out of the tournament.

And what about Welshman Andy Powell? His drunken antics on a golf buggy have brought a premature end to his campaign. I'm sure these two men would love to turn back time and put things right. They'd give anything to be able to walk out for their country next weekend, but they'll almost certainly be absent.

A very different absence caught my eye during the first round of matches. Euan Murray sat out Scotland's opener against Wales, not because of injury or ill discipline, but out of choice. The Scottish prop voluntarily sacrificed the opportunity to play for his nation because it's match was on a Sunday. Murray put his religious convictions above his country and his career.

Why would someone who has dedicated so much of his time to the sport spurn the chance to do what many of his peers can only dream of? Let's hear what Murray has to say. Speaking to the Guardian, he said:

“Ultimately rugby's not what fuels my happiness in life”

This man has tasted success and experienced the prestige, wealth and glitz that are part and parcel of being a prominent sportsman. And what's his verdict? They're like shiny bubbles. Murray explains:

“They're bubbles that appear perfectly spherical, all the colours of the rainbow. They're bright and shiny and light as a feather, and you chase them because it's good fun, but the minute you get them they burst and they're empty.”

We're fixated with chasing the dream – we want fame and fortune, we want to be popular, we want to be the best. Most of us will never fulfil these desires, and even if we do history tells us they won't bring lasting happiness. For that most elusive dream we need to look somewhere else.

Where can we find real happiness? In the same place as Euan Murray. Jesus Christ, died so international sportstars like Euan Murray and average joes like you and me can find a happiness that nothing can take away, and that outweighs all the shiny bubbles this life has to offer.