Back to Men of Integrity Subscribe to Men of Integrity
Log In | My Account | Help

Home > Fuel Your Faith > I Love Sports!

I Love Sports!
Philip Schiavoni
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Average rating: Not Rated [ see ratings/comments ]


I have very few regrets in life, but my earliest one is about T-ball. I forgot to bring home the sign-up sheet to register for the T-ball season. Somehow, at the tender age of six, I knew I was called to play baseball. And, very sadly, I had just missed my first golden opportunity to take part in the nation's pastime. But that wasn't all.

The apartment my family lived in was located right across from the elementary school I had just began attending. Also across the street? The fields upon which the T-ball games were played.

That first weekend of T-ball was the worst. I sat in the windowsill, curled up in a ball, with my Oakland A's hat, and cried all morning and afternoon. Every Saturday for the rest of the spring I took my place on the sill and displayed my sadness for all to see.

Through the years I have participated in baseball, basketball, track and field, volleyball, soccer, tennis, golf, table tennis, ultimate Frisbee, field hockey, and even Atlatl (yes, you read that correctly).

For the longest time I considered my love of sports, whether as an active participant or an avid fan, lying somewhere between a guilty pleasure and an obsession to an idol. So I held to a certain tension considering my love of sports. That tension was this: If I'm not making a living in sports, or at least as a chaplain to a sports team, I should probably drop my love of sports all together because this love is distracting me from "doing God's work."

I'm a full-time campus minister with the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO). Doing work at a relatively small state school, one of the easiest ways to engage with students is through sports. And although my supervisors have always encouraged "relational ministry in any context," in the back of my head I always wondered, Where's the line?

I should be evangelizing more.

Do these student always know why I am out here?

Then I started wondering, Do I know why I am out here?

I seriously considered hanging up the cleats on sports entirely. God's Word can be expressed over coffee, in philosophical conversation, and certainly through the Bible and prayer, but what good was I doing getting all sweaty and playing games with all these college kids?

But I would always come back to an unalienable fact about myself:

I love sports!

I didn't find a great answer to my dualistic tension until I read a section from an excellent book, Living at the Crossroads: An Introduction to Christian Worldview by Michael Goheen and Craig Bartholomew. They write:

If one embraces a narrow, world-negating view of the gospel, one will have little place for sports and athletic competition. But since the gospel is a gospel about the kingdom of God, sports and competition cannot so easily be jettisoned from a Christian view of things, for these too are gifts of God in creation, to be richly enjoyed with thanksgiving.
Page 1 of 2 
Special Offer: Free Trial Issue

Yes!, send me a free trial issue of Men of Integrity.

If I like it, I'll pay just $19.95 and get five more bimonthly issues (a full year in all), plus complete web access. If not, I'll simply return my bill marked "cancel", owe nothing and keep my free trial issue.


Subscribe to Men of Integrity
Name
Street Address
City/State/Zip
Email Address

Canadian Orders | Give a Gift


Sign up for our free newsletter

Join the Conversation

Average User Rating: Not rated

No comments

Use your Men of Integrity login to easily comment on this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe, or on public pages, register for a free account.

Log In OR Subscribe OR Register







FOLLOW US:

Facebook  Twitter  Google +  







Featured Items