I would be shocked if there was an individual who does not know that it is time for the biggest tournament in the sporting calendar- the world cup!!! The fact that it is in the spiritual home of football makes it all the more a great spectacle. As a soccer fan I am impressed by the football that is been displayed, entertaining, exciting, and attacking with lots of flare. No wonder the goals keeping coming, all I can say is more of the same.
And just like any other world cup our African teams have failed to match up to the standards, organization, and professionalism and indeed efficiency of the other teams. Such that our dream of seeing an African team break into the semi-final was dashed in the first round of knock outs. The stats do not make for pleasant reading. The five African representatives played 15 games in the group stages and only managed to win 3. They lost 9 and conceded 28 goals while scoring 18. Clearly you cannot progress with such stats.
However, it is not the football that bothers me, because quite frankly I never expect African teams to excel at the world cup. It is the level of disorganization and lack of professionalism coupled with petty politics that breaks my heart. Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon all went on strike either before or during the tournament due to lack of payments or disagreement on the amounts. We are not talking about a small by the way tournament, it is the world cup and people know way in advance if they are going to be part of the tournament, so what is the problem? It is clearly not a lack of money because they are paid after going striking. Ghana had to send an entire plane just take hard cash for the boycotting players. Furthermore we heard of players assaulting officials, swearing at coaches, fighting with each other and now some are being investigated for match fixing.
Now I am not in any way saying all these things are unique to Africans for they are definitely global and are due to our sinful nature. But the disorganization and lack of professionalism is a real problem on our continent and not just in football but many areas of life. It seems to be common practice not to do things well. We are normally not ready for meetings, we are often late, and people want to be cranked to carry out their responsibilities. It is almost as though we are allergic to excellence and therefore we try our best to not do things well.
It is not only in the area of organization where we struggle but also in being professional. A simple definition of a professional is a person having impressive competence in a particular activity. I understand over generalizations can be dangerous but you will agree with me that a lot of people appear misplaced and frustrated. Hence service delivery and production is way below par.
Sadly this attitude seems to be no different with us Christians. In fact in some cases we appear more disorganized and very unprofessional in the way we do things. All you have to do is compare the music of non-Christians with that of some of our Christian gospel musicians and my point will be very clear. Shouldn't spiritual things be done without a level of excellence? Shouldn't Christians follow the example of their creator who said of everything he did, that it was good? Christians ought to be different. The labor of our hands should be excellent, it should be worthy of praise because whatever we do is to the glory of God (1Cor 10:31) and whatever our hands find to do we should do it heartily as to the Lord (Col 3:23-24)