The One Who Stayed Behind
THE ONE WHO STAYED BEHIND
Dimitar Berbatov and Christiano Ronaldo
played for Manchester United in the
2008/2009 football session.
That was the only season both players
were on the books of Manchester United
at the same time.
Berbatov said of Ronaldo; “I was lucky
to play alongside Ronaldo for a season.
He was 100% professional, on the
training pitch and off it.
I don’t remember him ever being late
He was always preparing in the gym, after
training he would stay and do extra work
like working on his shooting, then he
would go swimming and go to the gym
The club had strict training sessions.
The players had to fit into the training
schedules to stay fit and competitive.
They all wanted to excel.
They stuck religiously to these training
Their lifestyles- their training, eating,
drinking, sleeping- everything was
They were professional athletes, their
physical fitness was a key to their
So they aligned themselves to these
rigid training schedules.
when the training sessions were over,
the players would leave for home.
But Ronaldo would stay behind.
He would train more.
He would practice more.
He would go swimming to tone his
muscles more. He would go to the
gym to increase his stamina.
He stayed behind.
He got rewarded for it: none of his club
colleagues ever won a Ballon d’Or:
he won 5.
He was 36 on the 5th of February, 2021.
He is fitter than the average 21-year-old.
There is a price for staying behind.
There is a price for doing more.
SCENE ONE: Numbers 33: 8-11. JOSHUA
Moses had set up the Tabernacle
outside the camp. He would go in
there to meet with God as all the
Israelites watched in awe.
Moses would go in with his assistant,
He would hold discussions with God,
they would talk “as a man speaks
with his friend” (verse 11).
When they were done talking,
Moses would leave the Tabernacle.
BUT JOSHUA WOULD STAY BEHIND!
The young man would remain in there,
like Ronaldo. He wanted to know
God for himself.
He didn’t want to be quoting his pastor,
like many Christians do today.
He didn’t want to be telling people,
“Pastor Moses said…” He wanted to
have a personal encounter with God.
He wanted to KNOW God without an
intermediary. His hunger for God was
rewarded: God asked Moses to hand
over the leadership of the people to
him when his tenure came to an end.
Joshua became the one who led the
Israelites into the Promised Land.
SCENE TWO: 1st Samuel 3: 1-4. SAMUEL
Samuel was a servant of Eli, just as
Joshua was to Moses. He was an “Altar Boy”-
His job was to do the menial jobs in the
Tabernacle: light the candles, sweep the
place, clean the tables and all the stuff
His master, Eli the High Priest would
come in and perform his religious duty.
Eli would leave the Tabernacle when
he was done.
BUT SAMUEL WOULD STAY BEHIND!
Samuel would sleep in the Tabernacle!
On one of those days he stayed behind
to sleep in the Tabernacle, God spoke
He had an encounter with God.
His life took a different trajectory after
God ordained him a Prophet and the
Spiritual Leader of Israel.
He became God’s spokesman to the
people, he became the go-to guy for
anyone who needed direction in life.
He anointed Saul and David as King
He stayed behind.
He got promoted from Altar Boy to
SCENE Three: John 20: 1-16. MARY
Mary Magdalene went to the Tomb
early in the morning before dawn on
the 3rd day of the crucifixion and
death of Jesus.
She noticed the stone had been rolled
away. She ran to inform the “Big Boys”,
Peter and John.
They ran to the Tomb to confirm the info.
Mary hurried after them.
They got there before her, they went in,
saw the napkin and linen used to wrap
the body of Jesus.
They looked at each other: “He must be
risen indeed!” Peter submitted. “Yeah,
He said He would, now He has!”
In that moment, Mary Magdalene got
there too. “Mary, you’re right!
The Lord is risen!” Peter said.
John nodded. They took their leave.
What else is there to do, anyway?
BUT MARY STAYED BEHIND!
She stood there, weeping.
As she wept, she looked inside the
Tomb and saw 2 angels!
The “Big Boys” had gone.
They didn’t wait long enough to see
the angels. But Mary Magdalene did.
She talked with them.
And she turned: There was Jesus!
The risen Jesus! But she didn’t
recognize Him: He had resurrected
in a celestial body. But when she
called her name, “Mary…” she
She stayed behind: she became the
first person to see the risen Jesus.
Sometimes, the reason you have not
gotten what you want, the reason why
you are not where you aspire to be is
simply because you leave too early.
Stay behind a while longer: you just
may meet with destiny…