Friday 15 February 2019

The Classics

This week has been about classics. Not ‘the’ classics, but the idea that things that are classic in the fullest sense are timeless. That there is a quality within them that moves us beyond time; to things that are always relevant, always in style, as opposed to fashion, that changes with the whims of people and the times they live in. I’m thinking specifically here of the basketball against Shore this past Tuesday evening. Both the 2nds and 1sts played hard, physical, close games against very talented opponents from Shore. Both teams were fortunate through their concentration and the hard work of training and teamwork to emerge victorious. Which is a bonus, but not something anyone can, or should, count on. (If you want to lose your next game in any sport, just focus on the game following the one you’re playing next.) Both teams played in the moment, to the best of their ability, treating each and every possession as if it was the game decider. And it was. The games were fantastic match-ups. But also classic was the support that each school gave to their team. The Gartlan was positively pulsing with screaming fans of both schools. And both schools were enthusiastic without forgetting that sportsmanship and fair play are the real points of competition and not some misguided barometer of self-worth.

The timeless striving of competition, not to assert dominance, but to test one’s self, to discover both strengths and weaknesses and to respect your opponent for the lesson they deliver, this is the true value of sport, and a measure of the classic. Whatever we’re involved in, we need to delve deeply and give of ourselves completely to find the timelessness within.


Last year I was up in Mudgee for a College reunion and education fair. I took along the film camera and went out very early one morning as the soft country light was breaking on the town. I was fortunate enough to find the old bank building and its timeless lines and architecture highlighted against the clouds.

We are creatures of time and space, but we long for things that endure. What are the timeless things in your life that anchor you and give you a sense of peace and security? Can you be grateful for them?

Fr Jack McLain SJ