The mighty Leicester City have won the much sought after title of Champions of English Football after winning the 2015-16 Premier League, and what a story it has been.
For those of you not from the UK or who have no interest in football (I know there must be some of you out there), this time last year Leicester City Football Club were fighting for Premier League survival and having survived by the skin of their teeth as it were, subsequently succeeded in dumbfounding all the sports pundits by appointing sixty three year old Italian, Claudio Ranieri as their new coach; a guy whom the English Sports press had previously dubbed “The Tinkerman” during a rather lack lustre period of his career when he was manager of one the top clubs in England, Chelsea. The portents for Leicester according to most did not look good.
So bad indeed were the forecasts for Leicester City Football Club that the odds offered for them to win the league at the commencement of the 2015-16 season, way back in August last year, were 5000/1.
Wind the clock forward to last night however, and what we find is little Leicester City, without any sudden massive injection of money into the club and the pretty much the same team of players who had previously just avoided relegation from the top flight of English Football, making headlines all over the world as they were announced Champions of England for the first time in the clubs history. What a story!
It’s such a great story that I couldn’t help but use it to highlight something as I was speaking on at Arise, the event I’m involved in on Sunday nights, because I was sharing from Romans 8, where the Apostle Paul says that God has chosen us to “be conformed to the image of His son”, and that it is part of the Holy Spirit’s job within us to help us become more like Jesus.
You see, Leicester have won the Premiership title because, as it so happens, they got the right coach at the right time. Ranieri had a vision of what they could become as a team and he worked to bring that vision to fruition with great success; and the Holy Spirit…God’s Holy Spirit…has a vision for how each of us could be; and the image that the Holy Spirit is working from is an image of perfect humanity represented for us in Jesus. Jesus is God’s template for us, and the Holy Spirit is working constantly to help get us conform to that image.
Leicester’s success is proof that when you get the right coach, anything is possible. They may bot have had access to the same level of resources that all the huge clubs had…but they had a manager with a clear vision and a team willing to trust him and submit themselves to his coaching, and so they were able to overcome all those other super rich clubs to defy the odds and finish top of the league in England. If this is what one man can do for a struggling football club, imagine what could happen to each of us if we fully submitted ourselves to God’s supremely qualified coach?
It’s such an inspirational story and I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a movie made at some stage down the line. This truly is sports history being made.
As I concluded on Sunday night i asked our guys at Arise a simple question, and it’s a question I want to ask you to consider too. And here it is:
Who or what is coaching you?
When we have the right coach, anything is possible. When we submit ourselves to the right coach, we can begin to achieve great things. So…who or what is coaching you?
It’s a question I’m going to return to…but for now…let’s all get inspired by the achievements of the “Tinkerman” and his squad of write-offs who have just defied common and professional opinion alike by overcoming all the odds and clinching the most coveted prize in English Football.