The lonely righteous man

Photoshopped image credit: Boondecker

It is pouring with rain. The rugby field is a quagmire. The other players have retreated to the warmth of the locker room. Even the spectators have gathered up their umbrellas and scarves and are leaving the stands. It is now a rugby match where one man stands alone. He believes in what he does; he believes that his way of playing the game is right.

Earlier in the day, the lone player was faced with a problem. He was a purist. He knew the rules of the game and did not feel that the rules should be bent or changed. His Rule Book had taught him that there was no such thing as a medal for ?trying? or bending the rules. No, his Rule Book was the first Rule Book of the game and he still stood by what it spelt out to him in words that made sense to him.

The player held his Rule Book close to his heart and he used it to live each and every day of his young and unfolding life. As time went by, those that surrounded him started reading a new book: The “Book of Yeah, But.”

“Yeah but if someone loves someone then that should be fine” or “yeah, but even though the original Book of Rules said something, it doesn?t mean it has to always be that way” and so on and on it went and still, the young player clutched his Book and stuck by the rules.

Each day, he worked hard and played rugby and went to his church and preached the gospel according to his Book of Rules. He lived a quiet life, a measured life and a life that did not contain any excerpts from the “Book of Yeah But.”

Fellow players who worshipped the “Book of Yeah But” got into mischief, got drunk, had brawls, embarrassed themselves, their families and their country. But they were fortunate, because when they faced criticism they would grab their books and point to a page and yell “Yeah, but..!”

The lonely player kept striving and became one of the best players in his team. He won awards and hard-earned respect as a player among players. He walked in the footsteps of legends and served himself, his sport and his country proudly. Very proudly indeed.

His behaviour, both on and off the field was renowned for quiet dedication to his craft, his family, his Book and his beliefs.

The rain that falls today is not a physical rain but a rain of tears of sadness. This man who simply spoke his mind about something that meant so very much to him, has lost his job because people yelled and screamed Yeah, but.”

Abandoned on the field of fair play, he has been deserted.

In my mind, Israel Folau kicked a hugely important goal. He may have lost his match, lost his job, lost his income, his livelihood and his future as a Rugby Player, but he gained so much more.

When, in the rain, he stood alone, defiant with head held high, he won a medal for truth, integrity, honesty and strength of conviction.

I applaud this man and I applaud his courage.

To me, Israel Folau is a hero because he dared to do what so few are prepared to do: Stand up for his beliefs and not take a knee to the pervasive ?Yeah, but.?

Israel Folau may have stood alone on my metaphoric rugby field, but I can guarantee that there are hundreds of thousands of people who cheered him on as he kicked the most important goal of his life.

He shot that ball between HIS goal posts with the power and passion of a good-hearted and decent human being. His boot had the power of conviction; the power of belief and the power of knowing that his Book of Rules was preferable to ?Yeah But.?