[27th December 2010, 11.45am]
Yesterday was a history, a great one, AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 at Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil, a match that I will never forget; Malaysia vs. Indonesia. As soon as I arrived at Bukit Jalil rapid KL station, I saw a color of passion- yellow and blue. I went alone (I couldn't find anyone who have an interest in football here) and I 'summoned' all my relationship skills. This was the moment where I applied all the books that I read about winning with people.
It all come into fruition when I'm standing with thousands of fan, hundreds of 'fanatics', few become literally my friend and 2 Indonesians I managed to say 'hi' and words of compliments for their national teams. The match start at 8pm but we all already filled-up the grand stadium since 5.30pm. It was an historical moment. It's what every football fan can dream of- to be there.
While everyone was holding flags and banners, I'm holding a paper and pen. Azrul, who was sitting next to me, wondering why and what did I wrote. I didn't tell him because he didn't ask. This is what I write (added later);
4 Essential lessons to Win the Game of Life
1) Training. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
All of the players who competes in this match, has goes into hours of training, hundred of friendly matches, through the rain and heat of the sun. In our life, training is essential. To be a good writer, football player, a great teacher, doctor, student, businessman, architect, carpenter etc. you need training to prepare yourself for the challenge ahead. Train yourself to become skillful in what you do. Don't settle for moderate, be the best according to your setting values. If you're a Christian, you must train and equip yourself with 'the whole armor of God' (Ephesians 6).You must!
2) Integrity. Don't live a double life.
In football, acting to fall in front of penalty area will cause him a red card. There's no warning or whatsoever, red card and you're out! 'Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.’ said Oprah Winfrey. Integrity means wholeness. Are your life is real? Is who you are now the same as you're out there? This is for all of us, King Solomon advised, 'The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.'
3) Self-Control. Think of long-term results.
Some of Malaysians fan, I observed, have a prejudice against Indonesians. During the match, some displayed a rude hand sign; shout 'Pergi balik lah oi!' (Go back home!) toward Indonesians fan. Prejudice (and all the anger words) appears when we're under pressure- out of self-control. It is impossible as long we're in this world to eliminate prejudices. But do not make that as an excuse to do it so, we need to control it. You'll be amazed when you choose to be self-control. You'll build more friends instead of enemies.
4) Time. Life is short, live for God.
There are only 90 minutes and maybe 10 - 15 minutes of additional time in a single match. For this 1st half final match, both team need to score as much goal as possible. It is very important for our team Malaysia, especially, to win this game and accumulate points before going for 2nd half final in Jakarta, Indonesia. 90 minutes... Just 90 minutes and the game are over.
How old are you now? How much years, months, days, hours or seconds left? Do you know that we are made for eternity? What's next after this? John the apostle wrote this in the Bible, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God (Jesus Christ) that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:13) Did I offend your 'faith'? If I did, I just want you to know that... I too have a short life here on earth. Life is short, live for God.
I'm not sure when the game was finished. I was busy shouting and give a high 5 with my fellow Malaysian fans. Final results on the scoreboard make my RM30 ticket worth nothing compare to my experience and this lessons that I've learned. You should bring paper and pen sometimes... to a football match.