UK law is changing. We would like to place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better. We've always done this (it's how websites work!), but the law now says I must ask your permission first. To find out more about the cookies, see the privacy notice.

I accept cookies from this site

UK Registered Charity 1117093
Company Number 5947088

If I had to choose between my wife and my putter... well, I’d miss her.

Gary Player

He sees us

He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Mark 6:48

This phrase really jumped out of the text as I read Mark 6 recently. Now I must have read Mark 100s of times but never noticed the verse before. I spent the first week of the Beijing Olympics writing about rowing for the Oxford Mail. I got to know several of the GB team. I came to have a great deal of admiration for them in their physically demanding sport.

What struck me first in their verse was that Jesus noticed the effort the disciples were making. As I read the words “straining at the oars”, I could see the faces of the GB quad sculls in the water in Shunyi. They had led beyong the 2,500 metre mark but were overtaken at the end by the Chinese. They were certainly “straining at the oars” but it was not enough.

I know that Mark 6:48 is not primarily about competitive rowing – unless perhaps the disciples were in three boats of quad scullers – but there is a deep truth within it. Jesus saw the effort that the disciples were putting in and he sees the effort we make when we train. Are we giving all or are we free-wheeling when no one is looking?

In a game do we continue to play for our team, giving 100%, when the game is already won – or lost? As Paul writes in Colossians 3:17 – whatever you do…do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and that must mean giving 100%

Weekly sports email

Leave your email address if you wish to receive Stuart's weekly sports email: