The Laws of Success in Operation

On the 7th July 2005 (often referred to as 7/7 in the UK) there were a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks in London which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour.   Four Islamist terrorists detonated bombs aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square.   The outcome was that fifty-two civilians and the four bombers were killed in the attacks, and over 700 more were injured.   It was a horrendous day.

On the 7th July 2013  the news was completely different and the British nation rejoiced in an event, not mourned as they had eight years before.    Andy Murray, the British tennis player became the first “Brit” to win the Wimbledon singles championship since Fred Perry in 1936.  Now you may not be interested in tennis in particular, or sport in general, but a huge television audience were glued to their screens in addition to those at the event and there were some very interesting principles at work.

 (Andy Murray) is a 26 year old Scot from Dunblane, a small, affluent cathedral town with a population of less than 8,000 people, and he was just eight when a killer stormed into his school to shoot dead 17 people, mostly children, before turning a gun on himself – and so he is no stranger to atrocity.

Mr. Herbert Armstrong produced a booklet some years ago entitled “The Seven Laws of Success” and Andy Murray used six of these to produce his stunning triumph.   The Wimbledon authorities said that on the centre court, a sun trap,  the heat approached 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) and in such heat, Andy and his Serbian opponent, the world’s number one player, Novak Djokovic, produced an epic game with both men showing skill, stamina, determination, the will to win, guts, strength, courage, precision, judgment, fitness and much more.

Mr. Armstrong listed seven laws of success with the 7th being “contact with, guidance and continuance help of God.”    Whilst it is not for me to comment on Andy’s belief or otherwise in God, perhaps that may be the one law that he didn’t use?   If he did, he would have used all the laws but he certainly used the other six.   These, as written about by Mr Armstrong were:

·having the right goal, which Andy had from a very young age

·education or preparation – he spent years preparing to win at the highest level

·good health – he and his team ensured that he ate well and stayed in peak condition

·drive – he had this in abundance and there was nothing half-hearted in what he did; otherwise he would be found out at the highest level of his sport

·resourcefulness – as Mr Armstrong wrote, “when complications, obstacles, unexpected circumstances appear to block your path, you must be equipped with resourcefulness to   solve the problem, overcome the obstacle, and continue on your course”.   In his career, Andy had to be resourceful and even in a single game it is often necessary to be resourceful and to “think outside the box” as the modern saying goes, in order to succeed

·perseverance – he persevered, having lost four finals of Grand Slam competitions but in the last year through sheer determination and perseverance he won the gold medal at the Olympics, the US Open championship and then Wimbledon.

Perhaps without even knowing it, he did what needed to be done to achieve his goals, and six of the seven laws of success were utilised in order to succeed at the highest level.

What can we, as Christians, take from this?   If someone can dedicate his life to achieving a temporal goal by using these principles, how much more is this true for those of us whom God has called to be in His Family for eternity?   Can we do any less than Andy did?   Of course not!

The loser’s parents both gave Andy’s mother a big hug, and Novak Djokovic was very sportsmanlike, giving all the credit to his opponent, and he was very gracious in defeat.   Perhaps we could also learn from such outstanding examples of excellent and heart-warming behaviour.

It was a tennis match, albeit a very high profile one and certainly one where many important principles were shown by those involved.   Just a tennis match – no, it was much more than that for those with eyes to see.

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