I played against Gary Speed several times through the 90’s and would echo the chorus of fans and professionals who have lauded his talents and professionalism both on the field and off it. Though I did not know him personally, there is a certain respect that one has for another professional in the game- an unspoken bond that you share as it were, by virtue of the fact that you know what it takes to do what you do, and to step into that arena each Saturday through good and bad.
So I was saddened and shocked to the core as many were on the hearing of the news of his death and apparent suicide this weekend. My condolences go to all of his loved ones, fans and friends. These are difficult times for them all. The death of someone we know has a very sobering affect on us. The world of football displayed this on Sunday. The Twitter pages were alive with sentiment, sadness and celebration of a life cut short. These things often turn our minds to ponder the meaning of life, the purpose for our existence.
There is a verse in the Bible which says this; “Come now you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:15).
James reminds his readers that life is short and God is sovereign. Pondering our ignorance of many things and thinking about the brevity of life should turn us to the sovereignty of God.
Let us submit to him, to acknowledge him in all our ways and trust in the one Savior we have, Jesus Christ, who by faith in him and his work on the cross, guarantees us eternal life and forgiveness of sins and hope eternal, even in the midst of the darkness that envelops us in this life. If you have Christ you have everything. You have hope when all fail around you, including football, friends, family and health. It’s a win win situation for the Christian, and even through tears we can say with Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain”!!