Rugby 101

It was a beautiful day out on the pitch, waiting for the match to begin. For those of you new to rugby, the pitch is the field and the match is the game. Saturday afternoon, there was no place I would rather be than watching 15 young men come together to scrap it up for an adrenaline filled competition. As a beginner to the sport of rugby, at first it looked a lot like football to me as the players lined up for the kick off. But from then on, it was totally different. For starters, the ball is thrown backward in order to move it forward…very strange. They have different moves called mauls and rucks,(which I will try to cover another day when I understand them myself!) The strangest thing of all is the scrum. Guys from both sides of the team come together with their arms around each other’s shoulders and bending down form a circle. Then there is a mad rush of power as they push one another. The thing to watch closely is the ball. The referee places it in the middle and then both sides try to get the ball on their side by putting their legs in the middle and try to pull it out to their team mate. This teammate on the outside of the circle is waiting to grab the ball and rush it to the goal. My son, #4 in black and gold, is buried in that pack of men, pushing and pulling with all of his might.
As I observed this action, I immediately thought of how this team and this action they call the scrum reminds me of the church. This team is a mix of guys from all over Charlotte – West Meck High, Providence and North Meck High schools. They don’t know each other – in fact, they introduced themselves to each other just before the game. They then came together to win this match (annihilation would be a better word).
Like these ruggers, as a body of believers all around the world, we often don’t know each other when we come together for the game. We each come from different schools – schools of thought, schools of denomination, schools of race, economic background and social standing. Yet, we each have a position – a place on the team that we need to fill in order for us to annihilate our opponent – Satan. On this team, some move the ball, some provide defense and others run alongside to provide the much needed support. As the body, we all MUST play our positions, while appreciating and valuing others and their positions.
During this game, Zach’s coach was calling to him in that South African accent that I love to listen to! “Zach!” Zach didn’t hear his coach calling. “Zach!” Still, Zach did not acknowledge his coach. “Zachy!” For some reason, this term of endearment got Zach’s attention. “Don’t run wild, son! Look for your teammates around you!”
Friend, our coach is encouraging us today – don’t run wild! Look for those team mates around you. Support them and their calling. Find out where in the body you can get in the game. Maybe your position is to get in the scrum and push with others to defeat the enemy. We need each other. Give one of your team mates a call today and encourage them – be a team player!


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