Many of you may not know that my college major was Sport Management however most of you probably know that I am NOT an athlete nor am I a sports fan.
BUT I love SPORT. Sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.
Sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.
You see, I enjoy the sportsmanship which is an attitude that strives for fair play, courtesy toward teammates and opponents, ethical behavior and integrity, and grace in victory or defeat.
The game or sport (baseball, football, and rugby are a few that I enjoy watching) involves physical exertion and skill. It requires more than just walking onto a baseball field with a ball and bat. The player must learn how to hold the bat, swing the bat, and read the pitch. All of that is skill and it is learned through time and repetition. Along those same lines, you cannot just warm a bench or sit in the grass waiting. There is a conscious effort that must be made to gain success. To lead you to victory.
My favorite verse – ok not really, I have several favorite verses – but one verse by the apostle Paul that has always stroke a chord deep in my heart is:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7 NIV
Immediately, I want to relate to the fighter. The desire and passion to win the fight. Another fun fact, my husband is a trained MMA fighter and we met training in a Muy Thai Kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu gym. So yeah, I get it. The training required to go into a fight and satisfaction of winning a fight that you earned with your own GRIT.
But what is a GOOD fight? I will get to that in a minute.
I am then attracted to the race. In this sentence Paul says that he has finished the race. Once again, it is easy to relate to a race. Running on the playground against your classmates or competing in track meets you have more than likely competed.
In middle school, I ran track (again not an athlete so enjoy the mental image of my goofy running gait and ALWAYS being one of the last people to cross the finish line).
However, I didn’t run because I thought I was fast and would win but because it was thrilling and worthwhile to put forth the effort into training for the race. The comradie with my trackmates and other teammates throughout the years bring back fond memories even in defeat.
“Not that you won or lost but how you played the game”
Yet, I know deep in my heart that I didn’t give it my all. It would be thrilling in the beginning but over time the luster would wear off and my discipline would as well.
But that is the sweetest part of Paul’s message. The GOOD fight isn’t about my skill or physical exertion but my faith in Jesus Christ.
Right now I am facing my biggest opponent ever. The biggest fight of my life thus far. It is watching my husband battle for his life against cancer.
But I have acquired the skill and physical traits needed to fight this by reading the Bible, praying incessantly, not giving up in meeting with others, and leaning into GOD and not my own understanding (in everything not just this situation). I have kept the faith. My foundation is built on rock. A solid ground that cannot be shaken. The wind and storms may try as they might but God has already overcome. He has won.
With that knowledge and promise in my corner I can face this fight with hope. With JOY. Even in defeat I can face the result of this physical trial with grace.