Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread
to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the skillful; but time and chance happen to
them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11
Sports – participating or watching – can teach us many things. Some of those things actually parallel
Biblical lessons. The need for discipline and commitment is one such lesson, as is the need for teamwork
and the desire for success. Other lessons are much more subtle, such as the lesson to ‘savor the moment.’
Almost every athlete who has made it to the Super Bowl, the Olympics, or the final round of the Master’s
Tournament realizes ‘I may never get to this point again.’ Seize the day. Savor the moment. Be grateful
for what is.
Another lesson is the importance of grace under pressure, especially the pressure of defeat.
Players who throw their helmets to the ground, or who refuse to shake hands with the victors, brand themselves as losers in ways that have nothing to do with the final score. And when we see an exhausted runner shuffling toward the finish line, in the darkening dusk, after all the faster runners have gone home, we realize that victory takes many forms, and ultimately, only we can say whether we’ve won or not.
©Carol Dean Henn, 2018