The Hockeyroos had to qualify for this year's World Cup, something they have not had to engage in for as long as memory serves, but it became a necessity when the Hockeyroos were beaten by New Zealand for the automatic Oceania spot.
So off to Santiago they went, high beat with a skip in their step as the Hockeyroos have been near the top or at the at the top of women's world hockey for decades.
The Hockeyroos have won Olympic Gold Medallists in 1988 (Seoul), 1996 (Atlanta) and 2000 (Sydney), World Cups 1998 (Utrecht) and 1994 (Dublin), Champions Trophy 2003 (Sydney), 1999 (Brisbane), 1997 (Berlin) and three previous titles.
The Hockeyroos therefore turning up to a World Cup qualifying tournament was something of an event in itself, and sure enough the Australian girls were treated like celebrities, indeed for which they are!
Their result were interesting to say the least.
First up, getting into stride, they put paid to Scotland 2-1, another highly fancied side that failed to qualify.
Second match, Malaysia faced up to the full might of the Hockeyroo's where-with-all with the Aussie girls giving their northern Asian neighbours a 9-0 drubbing.
Following this they faced the host nation Chile. There was a great deal of expectation with the local team being on home turf. Women's hockey was being given terrific support but their campaign came crashing down with a 0-5 loss to the Hockeyroos.
All the Hockeyroos required then was a good-bye and cherrio victory in their final match against Ireland, another of the fancied nations. The Hockeyroos did this, as they says, with one hand tied behind their backs, 4-1.
Undefeated, the Hockeyroos now prepare for the World Cup being held in Argentina in the later part of August.
With all of this, the fact was, the Hockeyroos had their backs against the wall. They had lost to New Zealand for their expected automatic entry into the World Cup. They had to travel to Chile to contest a very uncertain World Cup qualifying tournament against fancied sides such as Scotland and Ireland. And like all sports, one bad day in the office could mean humiliation and disaster.
The Psalmist speaks over and over, in Psalm after Psalm, of those who follow the path of God's righteousness and experience their 'backs up against a wall'. Jesus said that those who follow Him will have a cross to carry – in other words, their 'backs will be up against a wall'.
There are forces out there that will do all in their power to bring the Christian down, forces from within (New Testament example, Judas) and forces from without (New Testament example, Pilot yielding to the political Jewish Religious power broker's evil pressure).
The key, is to be aware and alert but not to be alarmed, as the Holy Spirit is with the believer in whatever occurs. Remember the story in Daniel of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who replied to Nebuchadnezzar's demand they bow down before the image and their response was that even if their God did not deliver them, they still wouldn't be bowing down.