Strategy and Tactics

First published February 2018

The Reverend John Chandler suggests spending time to review life strategy and tactics during Lent.

“A game of two halves” – that’s one of the football clichés we hear almost every week, when a manager admits that his team ‘took their eye off the ball’ in the second half, or won by changing strategy at half-time. As I look forward to February in the Church’s diary and mine, I reckon that this could be a month of two halves, because 14th February is Ash Wednesday. That’s a day we set aside for reflection and re-commitment at the start of the season of Lent.

It seems to me it’s not only footballers or even Christians who would benefit from a review of strategy and tactics, so perhaps now would be a good time for you, as well as for me. If you think so, then let’s start with a team-sheet, in 4-3-3 formation!

Self

Family        Friends      Home      Health

Faith      Hobbies      Community

Work      Rest      Play

Firstly, what’s the objective? How will you know when you’re winning? You might find that your purpose in life is just one of those key members of the team. Are you living for work? Are certain factors taking precedence, to the detriment of your health? Make sure all your players work as a team; let each of them know they’re important, but that the other members are important too!

Secondly, do some of the above need a little more training? Perhaps one of these would benefit from your one-to-one attention for a while. Which? How could you achieve that, whilst still supporting and honouring the others?

Thirdly: substitutions. Don’t make them yet – there’s lots of time to go; but during Lent, you may conclude that certain parts of your life need to change, so that each of the above positions can play at their strongest. Tactical decisions – and their timing - can make a world of difference.

So this month’s advice is to analyse what you’re doing, and give yourself a strong team talk. But make it encouraging and motivational… remembering that February 14th is also St. Valentine’s Day. Love makes the world go round; love changes everything; love is all you need. Or, in the words of St. John, as he reviewed his life: “Dear friends above everything love one another. If you love one another, that is enough”.

 


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