With the amount of media and especially social media that we have today, little things get way overblown and overreactions are hard to avoid. One day a team is playoff bound, the next day they are not as good as we thought. One night a player is struggling, the next night they are bound to be the rookie of the year. Sometimes personal stories get out that are hard to stop and the snowball keeps rolling downhill picking up steam-just ask Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te’o!
Sports are not the only place we see overreactions, our televisions seem to suggest we crave drama. Continue reading
Life is full of risks; some people love ‘em, others avoid it at all costs. A prize fighter must put his belt on the line if he wants to be respected and put to rest all challengers. Coaches often struggle with taking their success at one place to a different location, but they do so to prove something to themselves and maybe others. They entertain going from college to the pros to challenge themselves and see if they can compete at another level with different obstacles. Competitors have a desire to be challenged, seeking to grow and improve. When we are young, we often see something and we think, “I want to try that!” With the experiences of life, we can often lose that adventurous spirit and slide back into what is comfortable and easy.
Far Above All Gods
I have seen many bumper stickers with the Coexist logo on them, advocating for the unification of different faiths, that whatever god works for someone is right and that we should all accept that there is more than one way to God. The Bible clearly states that there is only one way to God (John 14:6). We also are told that there are other gods, so who are these gods and where do they come from?
When I was younger, there was a coach in a summer basketball league I worked at that dared his players to try and take the ball away from him. He stated that it was impossible to do so because the ball was part of his anatomy. He was being sarcastic but it made the challenge very enticing to prove him wrong. We take for granted or assume that a lot of the things we consider ours will always be ours and cannot be taken away. When you stop and think about it though, how many things cannot actually be taken away from you? Innocence, money, your job, limbs, loved ones, life, your house, your car, freedom, sex. That whole list can be taken away from you. Only your faith in God can not physically be taken away from you.
Are We Who We Say We Are?
Many people are afraid to take a stand for what they believe in for fear that they will be criticized for it and perhaps because they know taking a stand means being held accountable for your words. There will be times when we fall short of our desired behavior; I have heard it said that the only hypocrites in the world are those who believe that they are not. I suppose it depends on the objective you are trying to be consistent with. Over time we should be noticeably consistent or at least showing progress toward actions that back up our words. Athletes make great boasts about what they are or who they will be, but often times those words are never matched with the results they promise. People mature at different rates; the hope is that followers of Christ are aided in their maturity by listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The progress should shape a person into emulating the person of Jesus.
Many competitive athletes are perfectionists; meaning they have high expectations for themselves and others. How do you deal with unrealized or unmet expectations? There are a few categories of responses to take a look at, namely: attitude, emotion, and actions.
A person’s attitude can be that of a victim, feeling that you are owed something. Another response is to play the status card, to go over someone else’s head to get what you want (2 Samuel 11:1-15, 1 Kings 21:1-16). A third response is to become more determined to meet the expectation next time. This last one is usually the most productive.
Chiseled or Molded?
Countless hours are spent working out in athletics. For some sports, it’s about cardiovascular endurance, but almost all athletes need to do some form of weight training to strengthen muscles. Just as a musician finely tunes their instrument, the athlete works hard to have a sculpted body. Some athletes pride themselves in being in top shape almost like they are chiseled from a piece of stone. When we honor athletes, we often do it with a statue or “bust”. The trophies and the plaques, the statues and busts in the hall of fame don’t talk, they don’t move, and in time, their meaning is lost if nobody is present to share the story of what they accomplished and how they did it. The full body of work for an athlete consists of more than the physical; it is also mental, emotional, and spiritual. There is decision-making, adrenaline, and interpersonal relationships that work in concert to bring about greatness. These variables are never set in stone, they are constantly changing and the best athletes are able to adapt. It is like this with life outside of sports as well.