Sports Reveal What Men Are Capable Of
I have learned more about men by watching sports than perhaps any other sphere of life or any book I have read.
As someone who lives near Toronto, the last year has been a mixed bag if you are a sports fan. The Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship, and we were on top of the world. The Maple Leafs lost a game to a Zamboni driver who played goalie for the Carolina Hurricanes, and the whole city was ready to throw themselves off the top of a mountain.
There are times when I wonder why men have so much energy for sports and not nearly as much for their walk with God. Rather than looking at this from a negative perspective, I want to encourage us to see the positive potential that exists in men — including you.
We love to be part of a winner. When there is a winning team, men will rally around it. We become very emotional and heavily invested in seeing our favourite team win. It is not uncommon to hear language like “we won the game” even though “we” weren’t the ones playing the game. Maybe part of the reason we can be more invested in sports than God is that we are not convinced God is the winner. Imagine how much it would change our lives if we believed we were on the winning team.
We are capable of celebrating and singing. One of my most proud moments as a Canadian was the 2010 Olympic games and the hockey gold medal. There was an incredible party that happened in every corner of the nation when we (there I go again) won that hockey game. Canadians sang our national anthem loud and proud. When it comes to our spiritual lives, I hear people say all the time that men don’t sing or show excitement because it’s not part of our culture to be expressive. I call that an excuse. We are capable of celebrating and singing. Fortunately for us, Jesus is the victor, and his rewards are far greater than any Olympic medal.
We are capable of discipline and memorization. Some men can tell you every obscure statistic about their favorite athlete. Sports have taught me that men are capable of being disciplined to learn how to thrive in something. When men say they can’t memorize the Bible or be focused to spend time alone with God, it is simply not true. Men are capable; the question is whether we view God as worthy of that kind of effort from us.
Sports can shape our lives as men who are seeking to follow Jesus. Ask God to show you how to take your investment in sports and turn it into an eternal investment.