Andy Murray: When things are taken away
I still remember the moment Andy Murray won the nation’s heart.
‘Alright,’ he shakes his head into the mic, trying to start his runner-up speech. ‘I’m gonna try this, but it’s not gonna be easy.’
The tears overtake him. The crowd falls apart. It was his defeat to Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final.
I also remember when he won the next year. And when he took the gold medal two Olympics in a row. Three Grand Slams later, Sir Andy Murray is in the career of a lifetime.
But it’s allegedly being cut short.
‘I can’t keep doing this,’ he said between tears during an interview before the Australian Open. ‘I’m not sure I’m able to keep playing through the pain.’
A hip injury is about to force the previous world number one to retire.
Television presenter Sue Barker understands what it’s like to be forced to stop: ‘such a huge part of your life has been taken away. And I’m not sure how you can ever replace that.’
Like Sue, do you have things that, if they were taken away, you would wake up in the morning and think: ‘what am I getting up for now?’
Maybe you’re an excellent guitarist, but you’ve got nerve damage in your hand. Maybe you’re a full-time mum, but your kids are leaving home.
Barker suggests those things are irreplaceable. So is that it? Are you doomed to a half-existence?
Jesus warns us against pinning all our happiness, or identity, on something that could easily be swept away:
‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy.’ Matthew 6:19
He tells us to set our heart on something eternal instead: ‘Seek first his kingdom’ (Matthew 6:33) and your happiness, like his kingdom, will be unshakeable (Hebrews 11:27).