Thursday, August 27, 2009

Love the Game

How much do you love your sport? Is it something for which you make sacrifices? What are you willing to give up to compete at your absolute best? What will it cost you to play your heart out?

We who love sport and seek to compete honorably, wisely and successfully express our love in specific ways. Some are listed below.
§ We speak well of our game. We talk about it in a loving manner.
§ We sacrifice for it. We carve out time from busy schedules to train, to watch video, to get in some extra practice and to rehab injuries.
§ We respect the game. We refuse to act in ways which cast our sport in a poor light. We won’t cheat its rules and we won’t tolerate others who do.
§ We’re passionate about the game. Our heart rate elevates when we get near the gym or the field. We can smell the aromas and feel the emotions associated with the sport even when we’re away from it.
§ We live in the culture of the game. Our language is full of its metaphors, clichés and stories. We wear clothes and our hair in ways peculiar to the sport’s culture.
§ We defend the game. We take great offense at those who would misuse the sport, defame it by their attitudes or actions and those who would use it for their own selfish ambitions.

Do you love your sport or do you simply tolerate it to get what you want from it? If you play your heart out, you’ll develop a deep, passionate, love relationship with the sport and those who compete. In doing so, we find the real rewards in sport and enjoy it most fully.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Aroma of Sport

I love the aromas associated with sport. I recall vividly the smells, both beautiful and not so pleasant, from my life of playing my heart out.

I love the aroma of:
· Icy Hot on my elbow on October evenings as I drove to the softball field.
· My new baseball glove with 3 in 1 oil rubbed into it, a ball in the pocket and tied shut with a shoestring – laid carefully by my pillow for the night.
· Charcoal smoke wafting from nearby tailgaters into the football stadium during pre-game on fall afternoons.
· Newly mowed, dewy grass on spring mornings at high school baseball parks.
· A busy, August, football locker room; less than pleasant, but smelling of competition and passion.
· New baseballs, fresh from the box as we free them from their cloaks of thin paper.
· Popcorn and roasted peanuts at a major league baseball park on a June evening.

I love these aromas because when I smell them they lead me to recollections of simpler days, of passionate competition and of rich relationships with teammates and opponents who played their hearts out.

When you next go to the gym, the ball park, the stadium or the locker room; take a deep breath and drink in the aroma of sport. It smells like life!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Integrated or Compartmentalized?

It has happened again, a sportsperson’s private life has invaded his public life and another furious storm of controversy has erupted. A high profile college basketball coach has found his indiscretions from six years ago suddenly coming to light with brutal clarity and startling consequences. The details are still coming out in the mass media of his adulterous affair, the resulting pregnancy and the payment for an abortion, all leading to accusations of extortion by the formerly pregnant adulteress.

The radio talk shows, newspaper columns, blogs, web sites and television shows are all speculating about whether the coach should be fired, should resign or should be given a total pass. The whole sports world seems confused by the facts and their feelings of betrayal, moral outrage, disappointment and more. They do all this without any real basis for making moral judgments. Confusion reigns. Many of these people are classic secularists and would strongly hold to a highly compartmentalized world-view. They still want to make moral judgments, even though they only have arbitrary bases for making them.

Bottom line – they, like the coach, have fallen into a trap of their own making. At the core of the dilemma is that we only get one life. Our private life, our public life, our work life, our Church life, our love life, our family life, our fill-in-the-blank life will keep bumping into the other areas of life because, in reality, we only have one life. As much as we may want to compartmentalize and to keep these various areas of life separate, they will invariably each invade the others. The compartmentalization is a self-deluding illusion. We rationalize and convince ourselves that these various facets of life don’t directly affect the others, but in doing so we make fools of ourselves, sooner or later. Sometimes six years later.

So what are we to do? Live a life of integrity. Be the same person all the time. Rather than living as if our lives are lived in separate compartments with no overlap, we must have our life’s vision and values fully integrated into all areas of our lives. Let’s choose to be the same person all the time. Let’s be the same people on the field of competition that we are while tucking our children into bed. Let’s hold to the same ethical standards at work on Tuesday that we would at church on Sunday. Let’s apply the same moral standards to our lives as we do with those we follow from afar in the sport world. Let’s be like diamonds, multifaceted and wholly integrated. Let’s not be like filing cabinets, compartmentalized and foolishly disconnected.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Chaplains Roundtable 2009

If you’re in the USA, please give this series of events some consideration. The Chaplains Roundtables are good events for learning, networking and encouragement in our ministries with coaches and competitors. Please contact Bill Houston for more information. His contact info is below.

Chaplains Roundtable 2009
Charlotte October 7th…Indianapolis November 10th…Lansing December 1st
“Sports Ministry for Our Generation” that’s the theme for the 2009 Chaplains Roundtable Conferences in Charlotte, Indianapolis and Lansing. God continues to provide a wonderful list of speakers. Please visit our webpage to see the complete list of speakers.
Charlotte Roundtable @ the Church at Charlotte-October 7
Keynote Speaker: Victor Lee - Author and Speaker
Indianapolis Roundtable @ the Media Center of the
Indy Motor Speedway-November 10
Keynote Speaker: Barry Collier - Athletic Director @ Butler University
Lansing, Michigan Roundtable @ South Church-December 1
Keynote Speaker: Jeff Totten – Chaplain - Detroit Tigers
Cost to attend this year is only 10$ per event, per person...this increases to 15$ for those who register within two weeks of the event(s) they would like to attend. This will cover the cost of the meal which is provided.
Checks can be made payable to: Chaplains Roundtable…and mailed to:
Bill Houston
9749 Parmeter Ave. NE
Rockford, MI 49341
Note: please indicate on your check which event(s) you will be attending. Thank you.
Thank you for your prayers for the Chaplains Roundtable Ministry. Looking forward to seeing you later this year. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give me a ring. It is always good to hear from you!

For Him Alone,
Bill Houston
Sports Spectrum Radio
Chaplains Roundtable Ministry
616-974-2583-office #