AMBATI RAYUDU: WHEN DESPERATION FOR A THING CAN LEAD TO YOUR DOWN-FALL Duke Jeyaraj brings a Bible lesson from the dropping of Ambati Rayudu in India’s squad for the World Cup 2019

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Harsha Bhogle, the ace Cricket commentator who often makes you think by what he says, made this statement in a Cricbuzz video about Ambati Rayudu narrowly missing being selected for India’s ODI team for World Cup 2019 in England-Wales: When Kohli mentioned in an interview after a Rayudu ODI hundred as recently as in October 2018 that he has locked the No. 4 spot for himself, Rayudu was super-excited. This was big for him. He was super-thrilled to know that he would be No.4 in India’s mighty ODI lineup in the June-July 2019 World Cup – about 9 months away (then). He became pregnant with that thought. He even decided to quit playing red ball cricket post that. He wanted to focus on getting fully ready to be India’s No. 4 bat in the World Cup. He knew as a 34-year old this could be his best chance to be in India’s playing XI in a World Cup event (He was part of the 2015 World Cup ODI squad of India, but did not feature in the starting XI in any game). In the buildup to the 2015 WC, he played every single ODI, didn’t play a single match in the tournament .Then came the surprising slip in form. It often happens in life. When you desperately want something – the thing you want seems to go further away from you. It happened in Ambati Rayudu’s case. It was huge for him to be no.4 in the World Cup and I wonder if he wanted it too badly. And you could see as the World Cup started coming closer and closer, he started losing form. The harder he tried, the more the runs deserted him. He has played 44 of his 55 ODIs in a lead up to a world cup. whether it was 2015 or 2019. He missed the boat to 2019 World Cup. “3-dimensional” Vijay Shankar (to use the words used by the chairman of the selectors used in the post-selection press conference on 15 April 2019) was chosen over him. All he could do was to put up a sarcastic tweet that went like this: “Just ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup!”

Do you go chasing after some things in your life, so desperately? You somehow want to marry that pretty girl. You want to move heaven and earth and marry that boy. You would do anything to emigrate to that particular country, perhaps. You want that job in that top corporate company or the government by hook or by crook. When your desire for things gets more than your desire for God, it can be detrimental to your spiritual life. Sometimes, you may come very close to possessing them, only to miss those things by a whisker.

At no point in life, as a believer, should you desire anything/anyone more than God. We must be able to truthfully say these lines with the Psalmist: One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27:4). The one thing we ever need in this one life we have is God himself! We need God’s presence more than his presents! Moses was like the Psalmist in this regard for his said, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Ex. 33:15). Let’s get desperate for God himself more than the things/blessing he may give us! He is enough! As Philip put it in-effect: God himself is enough for us (John 14:8). As Job showed by example: we must love God for who God is, not for what he can give us; we must keep loving God even if the things he graciously gave us are taken away!

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader-supported Indian ministry. Find out more at www.dukev.org).

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