Go Lakers, Go! Go Kings, Go!
I have to admit it…it has slowly begun to sink in, I am not, and I repeat not, a sports fan(atic). I was recently riding up in one of the elevators at our THQ building in Long Beach, California with a member of the THQ staff and he asked me whether I had watched the soccer game that morning. When he saw the bewildered look on my face he clued me in to the fact that the World Cup soccer competition had just begun in South Korea and he had watched the match between France and Senegal that morning about 4 am (PDT).
I take my hat off to the young man and all of you out there who are so committed to your sport that you are prepared to make that kind of sacrifice just to watch the game. I truly admire your devotion. It takes a real sports fan(atic) to give up that final hour of sleep before getting out of bed to watch a soccer match. So far as I am concerned you can tell me about it later, perhaps while we are riding up in the elevator.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I will go to watch a game of baseball–that is, if I am invited to do so, and at someone else’s expense. I will occasionally watch and listen to the sports reports on the television or the radio. I have begun to take some interest in golf, though not enough to want to spend time on a golf course, but all because of Tiger Woods. I keep tabs on the tennis tournaments where the Williams sisters are playing, if only to see what good old Richard is up to next. But that is as far as that will go.
You are right! No sitting for hours in front of the television set, getting fat on popcorn and shouting my head off when some player does something that I think is quite stupid none of that for me. If you were to ask me how I felt about sport, my response would be somewhat along the lines of “take it or leave it.”
Recently, both the Eastern and Western finals of the NBA were concluded with wins for the New Jersey Nets in the East and the Lakers in the West. It is quite likely that by the time you receive this copy of New Frontier we might all know who are the new NBA Champions. As you would expect I did not follow the playoff series in the East. Living in Southern California I could not help but pay attention to what was happening with the Western play-offs. Coming from a dyed-in-the-wool non-sporting fan(atic) it was something else.
For you to get that kind of comment from someone like me, given my lack of devotion to the sport, is certainly saying something about that series. It went right down to the wire. It was, to say the least, riveting to watch. No! I did not say that I watched the games: the reporting of the results was just fine with me. It was fun though to watch the fan(atic)s. They were everywhere, glued to the television or the radio.
Of particular interest to me was the fact that despite having to come from behind in almost every game in the series, the defending Champions the Lakers finally won what accounts for this?
There was hardly much to choose from between the Kings and the Lakers. Except for a couple of outstanding players in the line-up of one of the teams, they seemed evenly matched. The coaching seemed quite good on both sides. Why did the Lakers win and the Kings lose?
I think that question was clearly answered in the seventh and final game. That game went into overtime. Up to that point it could have gone either way. It was the overtime that showed what was truly different about these two teams. The difference was in attitude. Attitude is what makes the difference between the champions and those who come in second. Champions play to win. They believe they can. They believe they will. And they usually do.
In reading Paul’s letters to the early church, I get the impression that he was somewhat of a sporting fan. Either that or he simply used sporting analogies to connect with his readers. In one of his letters Paul told his readers that they were to live their lives with the same attitude that marks out the true champion. He told them that they must run to win. He wrote to the Corinthians: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize (1 Cor. 9:24 NIV). He goes into detail to show what makes for the attitude of the true champion.
I have no better advice to give to those who are about to embark on life’s adventures following graduation or to those this weekend that are about to enter into full-time ministry than this given by the Apostle Paul. “Run to win.” Live your life like the true champion that God has called you to be.
With him, winning is the only result you have to look forward to. So, go Christian, go!