Two more weeks of basketball! Can you handle it? I had two people tell me Saturday how amazing it is to see the improvement in the players from the first weeks of the season. One of them was Coach Ronnie Arrow. You coaches are doing a great job teaching skills and teamwork! These kids will remember you when they are playing school ball and even when they are working with their own kids 20 or 30 years from now! The lessons learned through sports are valuable life lessons. Hopefully all are good. My son had a coach when he was playing in a church league years ago who was teaching the players to cheat! He was showing them how to hold an opponent’s jersey from behind where the ref couldn’t see it. I walked out on the court during that practice session and, as politely as I could, challenged the coach to correct himself. It embarrassed my son, probably shamed the coach’s son, but had to be done. A person’s honor is displayed in many ways from actions (or inactions) to personality. Sports teach us rules, humility, discipline, and the importance of interacting with others to accomplish a goal. This is why we are here. A primary goal we are striving for is to let every player and family know how much Jesus loves them. We teach that through word and action, just like everything else we teach them. God tells us in Ezekiel 36:26-27, “I will give you a new heart and put a spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.” I, along with my Rec Staff, am thankful that God has entrusted me/us with the duties and opportunities that come with running this sports ministry. We also realize that you who are reading this are the ones He has called to apply the guidelines and routines we create in order to change the lives of children and families. Please feel that honor and work diligently for the next two weeks to pour out blessings on the people in your care.
Basketball, as I’ve said before, may be the toughest sport (some would say soccer) in which to maintain composure. The things we would say and do if we were in the car alone at a red-light and the person in front of us was checking texts instead of turning while the light was green, we somehow feel free to say and do if we feel a referee missed a call. I have been “chewed out” by people I will sit with in church the next day because of a split second issue in a game. One of the aspects of the world we are continuously trying to affect is this instinctive rage that changes a person even during an activity meant for recreation or entertainment. I feel the tension even as I watch my favorite teams on tv do something bad. It affects my personality as though it mattered in a tangible way. I am working on myself as I try to encourage you and all of our CSports family members.
Last night I heard a wonderful sermon in a series on the last book of the Bible, Revelation. John, Jesus’ disciple, was 90 years old and had been exiled by the government to a small, rocky island called Patmos. Even as an elderly man in a terrible situation he tells us in Revelation 1:10, “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit.” The pastor’s message reminded me of something I often forget. Don’t let your circumstances dictate your worship, let your worship dictate your circumstances! True, worship doesn’t always change your situation, but it changes YOU! Let us all maintain a heart of worship, even on the courts, even during team talks, even in conversations with parents, even in our workplace, schools, and homes. As the Spirit changes us, we change the world!
See you on the courts!
In His Service,
Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister
Christ United Methodist Church
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6