I was not good at sport at school. When I had to play Rugby Union, I was too short and light for the normal competition and so I was placed in a team called ‘The Midgets’. Despite our name, we were a force to be reckoned with, partly because we were driven by a desire to prove ourselves.
The problem we had was our inability to pace ourselves. In the first half we threw everything into the game but at half-time we were exhausted. At this point something almost magical happened. Our coach appeared with a tray full of orange segments. That simple act was often the difference between winning and losing.
For whatever reason, many of us have a similar inability to pace ourselves. When we are only part way through the year, or when the project is only half complete, we are already exhausted. Or maybe we are simply frustrated that the ‘game’ is not going according to plan. We need the coach to appear at half-time with a few words and some orange segments.
The few minutes of reflection that those segments afforded was all we needed. We had come this far so we could continue to the end. We had accomplished more than perhaps we could have dreamed. We were privileged to be a part of the team at all.
The cold tangy hit of citrus re-energized us for the task ahead. The taste of blood was replaced with the sweet of orange. Our injuries were not as bad as we had first thought. Strength was restored.
The coach then reminded us of our vision and strategy. We hadn’t finished the job. We had plenty of time to turn the situation around or press our advantage. All we had to do was refocus and follow the captain’s example (Cf. Hebrews 12:1-3).