The A-Rod saga ramped up when he got hit by a pitch in a game against the Red Sox. His mangager, Joe Girardi in turn lost his composure and got thrown out of the game. It’s no better for the boys of winter - Von Miller is looking at suspension due to violating the NFL’s drug policy and there are numerous cheap hits and swinging helmet incidents under review by the NFL after just the second week of the preseason! Is this what healthy competition on a playing field where rules of the game are to be enforced consistently has become? It seems that players and coaches today respond to pressure with a focus on self instead of with respect for something bigger than themselves– in these cases, the GAME.
A better story - Several weeks ago Hunter Mahan saw his name atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the Canadian Open. On the practice tee the morning of the third round, he was notified that his wife was heading for the hospital to have their first child. Hunter picked up his golf clubs, touched base with the tournament director and boarded a plane for Dallas. The pressure of leading a major tournament and the lure of the $1 million dollar purse did not distract Hunter from the prize of being there for the birth of his daughter. He responded to the pressure with respect for something bigger than self - the miracle he was going to get to witness.
The Word on RESPONSE is: Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. – Daniel 6:10
- Daniel responded to the pressure of administrators and satraps stirring up trouble and the king’s decree to be thrown into the lions’ den, with respect for his God. Being grounded in something bigger than self, respect for the word of God, his decision to stand firm under his God was made well before the noise of this particular situation ever started. This is the discussion to have with our kids – How has the discipline of prayer and time in the word of God prepared you to respond when pressure builds at work or in life?
The Barna Research Group states that less than one in ten families that attend church have any spiritual discussion between Sundays. How can we be prepared to respond in this world in a way that glorifies God if we are not talking about Him across the week? I challenge you to discuss Daniel’s journey referenced above with your family around the dinner table or other family gathering. Applying the scripture to sports today, will the games be saved by more rules and fines, or is there an internal issue of discipline and respect for each athlete to address? Use the comment section below to let me know your thoughts.
Prayer guide: Lord, You know I love sports and competition, sometimes to a fault. I confess that I have glorified self in the heat of the moment. Prepare me in Your word and in Your love for situations that stir up pride and work to turn the focus to self. In Your strength I want to respect Your word and glorify You in my response to tough situations and pressures in this world. Help me be a Daniel, to be under the influence of Your word as a man, husband and father. Amen.
A faithful father is disciplined under the word of God.