Monday, 11 February 2013

A Trip to Murrayfield and the Shiny Bubbles of Fame

We had a great weekend in the Murray house.  Saturday was taken up with a trip to Murrayfield to see the victorious Scotland Rugby Team beat Italy 34-10.  The tickets seemed out of our reach but a very generous benefactor donated some tickets to us.  We were sitting in the gods but Davie and Calum enjoyed their first rugby game all the same.  There was great excitement with some of the tries particularly Stuart Hogg's stunning 80 yard run.

It always amazes me how nearly 80,000 people can watch a rugby game, with no segregation and a plentiful supply of alcohol and yet there is no trouble.  Compared to the aggressive atmosphere of some of the football games I have been at in the past, rugby is a very pleasant day out and one I wouldn't hesitate to take the kids back to.

The weekend got even better when we turned up for church on Sunday and the boys found themselves sitting in front of Euan Murray from the Scotland Squad. 

Murray has never tried to be a celebrity Christian but doesn't shy away from his principles as this Guardian interview proves.  Here are a couple of paragraphs;

He [Murray] suggests that the path many professional sportsmen follow is "rotten". He tries to explain. "All the shiny bubbles," he says, holding out his big hands and shaking his head in sadness. "The money, the possessions, the fame, the great elusive relationship – all bubbles that appear perfectly spherical, all the colours of the rainbow. They're bright and shiny and light as a feather, and you chase them because it's good fun, but the minute you get them they burst and they're empty." He pauses. "I'd had enough of chasing bubbles."

What were the "bubbles"? "The attraction of all the glamour and glitz that society puts up on a pedestal and says is the be all and end all. All the tinsel, you know? The success. There are many ways of measuring success – it could be in popularity, the funniest guy, or the guy with the best scores, it could be money, it could be getting the best-looking girl, lifting the most in the gym, having the best clothes, it could be being the best rugby player in the world." He trails off. "It's not wrong to be funny, or have a great-looking wife. It's not wrong to have money and to want to be the best player in the world, but if that is your idol then that is wrong." (The Guardian, Thursday 4 February 2010).

There are so many stars who pursue the 'shiny bubbles' that Murray describes above and find that as soon as they have them they are empty.  The recent tragedy of Paul Gascoigne is testament to the elusive nature of a celebrity sport lifestyle. 

At the age of 25 Murray had everything that the world could offer and yet he had an emptiness.  After an accident in 2005 when he was knocked unconcious Murray began to read his Bible which began to challenge his lifestyle.  As Murray read about Jesus and the need for the new birth, he began to seek the Lord and came to know Christ in a personal way. 

As well as being open about his faith in Christ, Murray has always stood firm on the Lords Day which is so rare amongst high profile sports people and even most Christians nowadays.  My oldest boy James is a great fan of Eric Liddell so I'm very pleased that the boys have guys like Murray to look up to.  There is more from Ragged Theology on the Lord's Day here.

I know Euan doesn't seek the limelight but if you want to hear more about how he lives as a Christian and a rugby player you can listen to it here

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