If you are a New Zealand rugby fan, the unthinkable happened last week. England comprehensively dismantled the mighty All Blacks at the semi-finals of the World Cup in Japan. It was a rout masterminded by Eddie Jones, the coach of the English team. England’s ferocity and tactical superiority stunned the rugby world. Rarely had the All Blacks been so completely outplayed and humiliated like they were that day.
Yet Jones, who is of Australian-Japanese pedigree, was once a rejected rugby coach. After Australia’s defeat in the 2003 world cup finals, he was sacked as their coach. He left in tears, and became one of the assistant coaches in South Africa, later helping them to win the World Cup in 2007. Then Japan hired him in 2015. No one took note until the unheralded Japanese team defeated mighty South Africa in the dying minutes of their world cup pool match in 2015. The world sat up, and took note again of a name rugby had forgotten…. Eddie Jones.
In that year, England, devastated by repeated defeats, came knocking on Eddie’s door. Australia should have got there first. They didn’t. These past four years, Jones has transformed England into one of the most feared teams in the world. By the time you read this, the England-South Africa finals match would be over (I get to watch it live in Yokohama stadium). Jones stands on the cusp of greatness. If England wins, he might be “Sir Eddie” by this time next year. It’s a remarkable story of a great turnaround.
What were Eddie’s ingredients? Hard work. Focus. Strategy. Trust. 110% commitment. Learning from failures. And belief. Jesus told us to count the cost if we are to follow Him (Luke 14:28-32). Watch rugby and you will see true grit written on the face of every player… It tells you they have counted the cost, and are prepared to die for it. If we are to follow Christ all the way, grit must mark our lives. Nothing less!
如果您是新西兰橄榄球球迷，您肯定晓得上星期发生了不可思议的事。在日本举行的橄榄球世界杯的半决赛中，英格兰队全面的打败了强大的新西兰全黑队。这完美的胜利乃是由英格兰队的教练艾迪·琼斯 (Eddie Jones)，所精心策划的。英格兰队的勇猛和在策略上的优越，使到全橄榄球界对他们刮目相看。那天的赛事，是全黑队少有的惨败和蒙羞。
然而，这位澳日混血的橄榄球教练曾一度成为被橄榄球界唾弃的教练。当澳大利亚队在2003年橄榄球世界杯的决赛中被击败后，他便立即被解雇了。他含泪离开，随即便成为南非队的副教练之一，并协助他们在2007年赢得了世界杯。之后在2015年，日本队就聘请了他。寂寂无名的日本队一直以来都从未得到任何的关注，直到他们在2015年的世界杯比赛中在最后关头里把强大的南非队给击败。这顿时引起了世界再度关注在橄榄球界里被遗忘已久的名字…艾迪·琼斯 (Eddie Jones)。
在那年，英格兰队屡战屡败，意志消沉的他们，最后寻求了艾迪的帮助。澳大利亚应本先寻求他，但他们却没有。四年过去了，琼斯已把英格兰队转化为一支十分勇猛的球队。当您在阅读此篇周报时，英格兰对南非的决赛也已结束 (我有机会在横滨体育馆现场观看)。如今琼斯正走向伟大的风口浪尖上。如果英格兰队胜出，在明年的今天他将会是“艾迪爵士” (Sir Eddie)。这会是一个关于形势逆转的伟大故事。
艾迪成功的重要因素到底是什么呢？勤奋、专注、策略、相信、百分之百的奉献、从失败中学习，然后深信。耶稣告诉我们，如果我们跟随祂，就得附上代价 (路加福音14:28-32) 。当您观看橄榄球赛时，您会看见每位球员都展现出过人的毅力。它会告诉您，他们已非常清楚当中的代价并准备好全力以赴，坚持到底。如果我们选择了一生跟随基督，那我们的生命就要有毅力，这是不可或缺的！
Ps Dr Philip Lyn 医生牧师