The Best Reason to Play Sports
If you play high-school sports, you're hardly alone. More than 6 million students played sports at the high-school level last year. Wow!
But why do you play? According to a recent survey, you've apparently got some great reasons. Here are the top ten reasons high-school students play sports:
10. To win
9. To learn new skills
8. For the challenge of competition
7. To be a part of a team
6. To get exercise
5. For the excitement of competition
4. To do something I'm good at
3. To stay in shape
2. To improve skills
And the No. 1 answer? "To have fun."
I like that.
I also like the fact that "to win" was buried at the bottom of the list.
Sure, winning is great. My team won the state basketball title my senior year, and that was one of the all-time highs of my life.
But it wasn't just the winning. That's fleeting. Victories alone don't make great memories. People do.
My teammates were my best friends in high school, and we had a blast. Sure, we worked hard in practice. But we had fun too. And man, those road trips on the bus—we really knew how to have a good time.
Still, as I look at this list of good reasons to play sports, there's one very good reason missing: To glorify God.
Actually, I think glorifying God and having fun kind of go together, at least when it comes to sports. If God gave you the ability to play sports, it pleases him to see you having fun while using that ability:
"Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Colossians 3:17).
So, when you play, play for him. That's about as good—and as fun—as it gets.
Jabari, a recent graduate of Oklahoma Christian School in Edmond, Oklahoma, was his track team's MVP and an all-state pick after breaking 10.5 seconds in the 100-meter dash and breaking 22 seconds in the 200. Jabari, who was also a state finalist in speech and debate, says, "Whether I'm on the track or the basketball court, I see myself as a leader and example of Christ. Our school mascot is a Saint. When I compete, the word 'Saints' is stitched on my jersey. This is a constant reminder of who I am representing."
Lori, a recent graduate of Zoe Christian Academy in Sterling Heights, Michigan, is an all-star in basketball, softball and volleyball. She lettered in all three sports for four years, and captained all three teams as a senior. Lori, who also captained the cheerleading team, graduated with a 3.6 GPA. Lori says she has "decided that my life will reflect Christ, rather than what people want. This is not easy, but the Lord renews my strength every day. Like it says in Philippians 4:13, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.'"
Jay, a recent grad of Woodward (OK) High School, was captain of the basketball team, averaging more than 17 points a game. He also was a golf star and an officer in Woodward's Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle. Jay, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, wants to pursue a career in medicine. Says Jay, "If you take the strength of your beliefs in Jesus Christ and live like a Christian, then you have created an image your peers can appreciate and respect."