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Coco Calling No.219 - Football Fever!

Well, I’m very pleased to say that my team, -Senegal, -made it through to the knock-out stages of the World Cup! Unfortunately, we then came up against England who beat us. So I’ve come to the conclusion that while Senegal has a very good team on paper, they’re not quite so good on grass. But the carnival atmosphere in Qatar continues as all of the human football fans try their best to emulate parrots. You name it, these humans are wearing it! Brightly coloured tops; wild face paint; crazy hats, caps, helmets and scarves; bandanas; whacky glasses; dyed hair, and all kinds of ridiculous costumes! Everyone’s gone to so much trouble, but the harsh reality is that no matter what humans try to do to themselves, parrots will always be more beautiful.


MUSTAFA YALCIN/Anadolu Agency via AFP


As for the matches, the players seem to be giving their all, as though their lives depend on it. (I’ve never worked out why there is only one ball for 22 players, because if you gave them one ball each, it would stop them fighting and they wouldn’t get so worked up). And boy, do they take it seriously…


“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is far more serious than that.”

(Bill Shankly: 1913-1981: Scottish footballer who became manager of Liverpool).


Sometimes, things can go too far. I saw one player being stretchered off after being kicked on his tattoo. It seems that the only naturally passive thing on the pitch is the ball, and there are even humans suggesting that should change…

“I think football would become an even better game if someone could invent a ball that kicks back.”

(Eric Morecambe: 1926-1984: Actor and comedian best known for ‘The Morecambe and Wise Show’).


There is no doubt that the World Cup creates an extraordinary out-pouring of human passion, enthusiasm, drive and excitement. And some humans think that a tidal wave of uncontrolled emotion is a good thing…


“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” (Oscar Wilde: 1854-1900: Irish poet and playwright).


But maybe these humans are in the minority. Older, wiser heads see it differently:

“Everything that exceeds the bounds of moderation has an unstable foundation.” (Seneca the Younger: c4BC–AD65: Philosopher of Ancient Rome).


The Bible always teaches us wisdom. It doesn’t rule out enthusiasm, high spirits, excitement and fun, but it places everything that we do within the context of sounds morals and the framework of Christian values. So wisdom definitely needs to be there in the mix…


“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise.”

(Ephesians 5: 15).


And irrespective of the fun we have, we still need to see the wider picture…

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

(Romans 12: 2).


And if we can only do that, we will be setting ourselves up to enjoy the best of both this world as well as God’s world to come!

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