Monday, October 20, 2008

Laying Hansie To Rest

I'm one of those "big picture" types - when I watch a movie, I try to pull out the bigger threads, rather than getting worked up by small details. When I go to the cinema to watch a movie like "Hansie", my nature is to ask the big questions. Why did they make the movie? Was there going to be enough material in Hansie's life to write a script that worked? Should we be revisiting Hansie's life anyway?

While I felt there was an intention to weave good messages through the plot, my overall impression was that the film served more as an obituary for a character who was undoubtedly loved. I was hoping that the movie would also capture some of that passion we've all had for South African sport, and from a sporting point of view, I thought they captured the pain of that 99 semi-final loss reasonably well. The movie was technically reasonably well done, although I feel that the story was not crafted well enough to draw in an audience beyond those who did know Hansie's story already.

Back to the bigger picture. I feel there are two points relevant from the movie. The question was asked: should Hansie's name be removed from the Greys College honours boards? My thought was: leave it there to serve as a reminder that we can all fall. Many of us have done worse than take money from bookies, and yet our positions have not been exposed to the national media. All of us have fallen in some way at least, and while I am not suggesting we turn a blind eye to the failures of our leaders, I do suggest that each of us take a view of our own lives and ask whether our own books would balance if we were held up to the same public light.

The second thread of interest regards the challenge of being at the top. So much is made of being in the spotlight, being the captain, being the hero, being the president of a country. In truth, when you get to that level, you're exposed to a whole set of pressures, challenges and disappointments you hadn't anticipated. What keeps you grounded? What prevents you from falling prey to the temptations of riches, women and power? And just as importantly, what unswaying standard can you measure yourself against so you stay oriented?

It's interesting to note that Hansie was a Christian, and we have to ask: how could a Christian do such things? The answer is simple: God's Word has no value until you apply it. While a Christian still walks under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, God does not remove our freedom of choice and we can still choose to sin if we wish.

It is for this reason that the ACDP holds up the Bible as the answer for this country. As in Hansie's case, simply being a Christian does not necessarily imply that you will provide good governance or good direction for a country. It is only in the application of God's principles that we will see this country come right. For those of you who support Christians working in other parties like the DA or ANC, ask yourself whether their Christian influence will actually translate into the application of Christian principles rather than simple verbal adherence.

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