Sport Principle 23: Born to play (enjoy your life)

About the Sport Principle

There is no other sphere of life where it is clearer than in sport to see that if you enjoy something, you excel at it. Very few top-level sportspeople are reluctant athletes. They don’t struggle to get out of bed in the morning because they are doing what they love. It is precisely because they love it so much, that they become so good at it. There is a strange and interesting connection between us seeing the relevance of something and our enjoyment of it. 

I remember having surgery to reconstruct a ruptured cruciate ligament in my knee following a sports injury. The first part of the long rehabilitation process involved me using crutches to walk – a short-term inconvenience to me, but something many others have to live with all the time. Something strange happened in my mind as I got to grips with my new, slower-paced life: I started to notice these people like I never had before. They were everywhere: on pavements, on buses, sharing lifts with me (because it’s difficult to use stairs with crutches). Some had crutches like me, some walking sticks, others were in wheelchairs, some had walking frames. I noticed them all – with a new-found sympathy and compassion. I would soon recover from my predicament, some of them were like this for life! What had happened? Had a lot more people suddenly become disabled and got out and about in my neighbourhood to coincide with my stint on crutches? Of course not. There were just as many (or few) people using walking aids as there ever had been. The difference? I was interested in them now. They were relevant to my life. 

Application to Life

I love that kids’ movie ‘Big hero 6.’ Towards the end, the heroes, including the main character, Hiro, defeat the enemy by deliberately and proactively encouraging each other to find a ‘new angle’ on their predicaments.

Is it possible to do this with your life? If you, right now, feel trapped in the monotony and drudgery of daily life: Your work, your family, even church life, why not deliberately and proactively find a ‘new angle’ to see things from. It’s often said that the way you see the problem is the problem. Well then, today, get some new eyes to see the problem with. One practical way to do this is to start counting your blessings.

Literally, sit down and write a list of things you have to be grateful for. We’re told in the Bible that God gave us everything to richly enjoy. With all the resources of heaven at our disposal, and engaged, as we are, in the highest of all callings: building God’s Kingdom on earth, we have plenty of reasons to bounce out of bed in the morning. So, like highly motivated elite athletes, may we rise every day to gratefully enjoy the gift of our lives lived on purpose to bring glory to God. May we see the relevance and significance of every task, no matter how menial or trivial: every nappy changed, every cup of tea made for someone else, every kind word and gesture potentially has eternal consequences on God’s good earth. May we simply have the eyes to see it! 

“….but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 

1 Timothy 6:17

Image Credit: Bacila Vlad