More Than a Game

I just finished emailing a reply to a letter from one of the referees who officiated at tonight's middle school league championship games. This is the second time he has written to express that he enjoys officiating at games in our gymnasium because he appreciates Coach Pat Lynch and Pastor John Love's professionalism and the sportsmanship of our players. I told him that I enjoyed watching our young men and women playing their hearts out, and that I admired the character they displayed even in defeat. 

As I sat on the sidelines watching our players and our fans, a little smile curled up the corners of my face as I thought, "These are my people. These are my students, my parents, my teachers, my fellow members of the body of Christ here in this gymnasium, and I love them and I am going to miss them when I go away." As I watched the boys running their warm-up drills, I wondered if at some point I would be sitting in a gym on the other side of the world watching a team of Korean boys dribbling, passing, and shooting a basketball someday. Who knows what God has planned? Certainly not I.

Today in the elementary chapel we mentioned doing everything to the glory of God because He loves us and we want to honor Him. I took the last line of the song "Amazing Love" - you know, the one that starts out, "I'm forgiven, because You were forsaken. I'm accepted; You were condemned" - and played around with it. Instead of singing, "In all I do, I honor you," I substituted other words to show that we can honor God in everything we do when we do it out of a heart of love for Him. At one point I said that even eating the lunch our moms pack for us - not just the dessert, but the healthy sandwich too - could be honoring God if done out of love, and I sang, "In all I chew, I honor You." I made up some other endings too such as, "In all the math problems I do, I honor You," and "I tie my shoe to honor You." You get the picture. Silliness to make a point and get some giggles going.

I said all of that to say this: I think that God was honored tonight by the play of our student athletes, and if I was in chapel singing that song again for the elementary kids, I'd coin the line, "Each ball I shoot, to honor You."

I like to think that we are doing something right in our Christian school, Greater Grace Christian Academy, and in true Christian education all around the world. What a wonder it was to be seated in a building filled with cheering, clapping, cowbell rapping believers who love God, their schools, and the student athletes running up and down the court. I'm not a big fan of basketball, but I am huge fan of the work of God being done in the lives of young people through Christian education. 

Yep, it's worth the price of admission...and more.

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