Last week, news broke about one fan in particular who had travelled quite a bit further than your usual away day supporter. Unfortunately for Andrew Urry from Brisbane, Australia, he was unable to watch his team Southend United take on Bradford City away at Valley Parade due to the match being postponed as a result of the pitch being waterlogged.
Andrew, who used to live in Southend, is able to keep up to date with the Shrimpers via the internet but while on a trip to Europe he planned to see his team play in person once more. Andrew Urry has been quoted as saying, “We were told as the coach pulled up outside the stadium”; “I got off the coach to have a couple of pictures taken outside the away turnstile, and then we were straight back on the road again.”
For this disappointment, Andrew travelled 10,000 miles from his home in Brisbane.
I have always been struck by the lengths many supporters go when following their club. Travelling with the team for away games is not for the faint hearted and takes a real commitment. But, regardless of how far you have ever travelled to support your team, God has been further. Becoming a human, God became flesh and lived among us on earth – was this the ultimate away day? Out of his comfort zone he humbled Himself to our level in order to be the light to a world in darkness.
In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God and was truly God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word. Everything that was created received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out. – John 1:1-5 (CEV)
For Andrew, the club did attempt to soften the blow by offering the committed supporter a signed ball for his troubles. However, this momentary lift in spirits is nothing in comparison to what God has already done for every one of us in and through Jesus. The lengths that He has gone for us are awesome and are certainly worth a moments thought as we celebrate Jesus’ birth – “thank God for His gift that is too wonderful for words!” – 2 Corinthians 9:15 (CEV)
Merry Christmas and God bless.
What has been your best/worst/funniest away day experience?