22 October 2010

Cricket & Life: The Equipment and Outfit

Each batsman has the same default gear.  They will have a helmet, bat, gloves, and pads on their legs.  Some batsmen will wear padding under their shirt and pants. Other batsmen will even wear arm guards.

This all sounds vaguely familiar to anyone who has read the Bible.  Particularly in the New Testament, found in Ephesians 6:13-17.  Here the soldiers wear a breastplate, helmet, shield, feet coverings, have their loins protected, and have a sword; all essential pieces of clothing when fighting in a battle.

May I emphasize that each day is a battle.  We have to battle to keep ourselves going mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  We need to do certain tasks in the morning, or during the day, to ensure we will get through a day.  We all need some sort of shield to deflect the negative materials that come flying our way.  We all need a sword so that we can stand our ground.  We all wear a helmet, or mask, to cover the struggles going on at home or work.

As such, if we don’t put on our armor, or gear at the start of a day, we may come out of our shift at work worn down.  We may leave our homes exhausted.  We leave our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being exposed to be pulled at and yanked on, if we don't put on our gear.

So it is fitting, just as in cricket with batsmen, that before they enter the field, they put on gear to protect themselves.  So we too must put on our equipment before entering the field of life.

There is always one story that I like to share about wearing proper equipment. There was this one time, in mid-winter, when I was playing street hockey with friends. My sister Cassie came outside to play with us.  Of course, being a bunch of boys, having a girl play with us seemed weird.  I did eventually let her be on my team, and had her substituted in. Cassie didn’t move all that much, she was very content in her one spot on the driveway.  My team was getting thrashed!  The other goalie seeing how he wasn’t being challenged, decided to remove his helmet so he could breathe easier.  Cassie started complaining that she wasn’t playing.  Well, if you don’t move, hard to participate with you in a fast paced game.  In a moment of weakness, I did pass her the ball, since I was being heavily guarded.  Cassie wound up and one timed it.  The ball made a cracking sound as she shot.  I should note again that it was the middle of winter, probably about January or February, for sure about minus 20.  That ball was frozen! Cassie made a perfect one-timer with that frozen ball.  Where do you think this ball went?  Right into the face of the goalie who took his mask off.  The shot didn’t go in.  But the goalie did get an instant bleeding nose.  Needless to say, for the rest of the game, the goalie had his mask on.

Another noticeable part of the clothing of cricketers is that it is all white.  Everyone wears white clothing.  Even the extra equipment is white (except the bat, of course). It doesn’t matter if you are playing your 100th match or your first, everyone is in white; there are no distinguishing features on anyone.  We have to look at the players face to know who they are.  We have to look at their eyes to understand them.

Often in our society we judge someone before knowing them.  We usually have developed an idea about someone in five seconds.  That five-second judgment sticks with us for a long time.  And how did we come to this judgment?  We looked at their shoes, pants, shirt, hat, piercings, jewelry and many other physical features.  We don’t even look at their face or eyes. We came to a conclusion before we even saying 'Hi'. 

I love that cricketers are all in white.  No gets to dress higher than another.  Sure one player has accomplished a lot more than the others, but that doesn’t come out in what he wears.  So to in life, we need to realize that we are all human beings inhabiting this little planet called Earth.  Sure one society may have accomplished more than another, but this doesn’t mean we have to be arrogant, and “better than thou”.  We need to respect one another regardless of anything that may make us different.