I had an opportunity recently to conduct the following interview with Pat Lambie:
(Me) Let me begin by saying that we all miss you on the rugby field and trust you are recovering well.
(Pat) Thank you!
What are some of the things you’ve been up to these past few months whilst recovering from injury?
I have been put through a thorough rehab process which has taken up a lot of time in the last few months. Having said that, I have been able to enjoy time with family and friends, as well as the odd weekend getaway. I have also tried to cash in on some surfing and a bit of golf.
Are those some of the things you generally enjoying doing when you have some down time?
Yes, very much so.
Pat, from my past interactions with you it is evident that you are a Christian. Could you share a little about how you came to know the Lord?
I began attending Christian Fellowship in Grade 8 at school. It was held during prep on a Friday night, and there was free hot chocolate and biscuits served. The more I went, the less important the hot chocolate and biscuits became, and the more I began to learn and grow.
I remember first meeting you on a Scripture Union led Michaelhouse Confirmation Camp at Em’seni. What part did Scripture Union play in your spiritual growth?
Scripture Union played an enormous role in my spiritual growth. The confirmation camp was a highlight of my school career, and in my life of faith.
Now if my memory serves me well, both you and Kate were impacted by or involved in your Christian fellowship at school (I think Kate was Head of her SCA). Could you share a little about the value you found in going to such a weekly gathering at school?
Well, I am unable to put a value on it. As mentioned, the weekly Christian Fellowship gathering was how it all started for me (even if the reasons for attending weren’t right at first).
Pat, there’s so much spoken about the importance of leadership these days. As someone who held leadership positions at school (Head Prefect amongst others) and then again with the Sharks, what few things have you found helpful/beneficial in your leadership? And what encouragement would you offer to those who find themselves in such positions of influence?
The best leaders that I have come across are the ones that are consistent in the things that they do and say. They are true to themselves, and treat everyone around them with respect. I believe that these are some of the characteristics that are important for people in leadership positions.
Have you been involved in sport from a ministry point of view – and what role do you see for local churches in ministering to young people through sport?
Uh, hopefully it is easy for people to see that I am a Christian through my career in sport. I think that there is massive scope for ministering to young people through sport. It is an easy connection to make with a lot of youngsters, and the common ground could then open opportunities to show and talk about faith.
I mentioned your recovery from injury at the beginning. I imagine it hasn’t been an easy journey, even though it’s part of competitive sport. Setbacks, struggles, pain, hardship are a natural but difficult part of life. What has been helpful for you to focus on/remember during such times?
It has been challenging, and I have asked a lot of questions. But it is reassuring to know that there is a bigger picture, and that God is leading me in the direction that is best. He only wants what is good for us, and that is comforting.
Our readership interacts with young people on a daily basis. What are some of things you found helpful as a teenager in going through High School?
It is very easy for our lives to be distracted by “worldly” things, “worldly” messages. I loved the grounding that was offered through SUIS (Scripture Union Independent Schools), and all the things that we could learn, things of real substance and importance.
As a nationwide ministry, Scripture Union interacts with children and teens from a range of economic backgrounds and diverse cultures. As a fellow South African, what words of hope would you like to convey to them.
The diverse cultures and economic backgrounds is part of what makes South Africa such a beautiful country! God says: “Come as you are!”
Thanks Pat for your time.