Can God shine through sports? That seems like a ridiculous question, but in this world of million dollar players and self-glorifying social media posts it’s a real question. The reality is God can shine through sports, but we have to let him.
This weekend we had a soccer tournament for the U16 girls team. They played hard and against some good teams. The championship game they were up against their rival team and a team that happens to play dirty. Our girls played their hearts out shining in their sportsmanship but the game ended regulation with a tie taking them into penalty kicks. In preparing for lining up for the kicks, the girls huddled together with arms wrapped around one another. What came out of that huddle wasn’t a chant about how great they were, there was no shouting to pump themselves up, but what came out was a quiet prayer. Our girls put the focus on God’s power, not their own and that is what won out. While the other team pumped themselves up chanting and shouting, our girls turned their focus to the one who really matters.
Now, this is just a game of soccer and it was just one tournament, but there are girls on that team that don’t know Jesus and hearts that need him. While it was a prayer for penalty kicks and the keeper there are girls on that team that heard what faith is and they that heard others admitting that God is the only true power in this world.
Our relationship with God isn’t just for Sunday morning and maybe Wednesday night. It is in everything we do. We don’t go to church to have faith, we go to grow in our faith. You gotta have faith in every other part of your life and constantly be putting Him in your life. God is on soccer fields, he’s on the sidelines, he’s at the store, in rush hour traffic, he is everywhere.
1 Kings 19:11-13 says ‘And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”’