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Monday, December 09, 2013

I'm thankful for sports/athletics/exercise

I’m thankful for sports/athletics/exercise. Paul said that bodily exercise did people some good, and the Bible uses athletic contests as symbolic of the Christian life. Besides that, most people in Bible times walked wherever they went, so they took exercise for granted. Sports for young people can, and do, make them physically fit, give them purpose, teach them discipline and teamwork, introduce them to new friends, and allow them to achieve. In my experience as a college teacher, women athletes were usually among the best students, probably because they had to prioritize and organize their lives more than non-athletes. Sports participation for older people can keep us from dying, as well as give purpose and discipline. I need to exercise regularly, body and brain, and I’m thankful for my wife’s insistence on our walking sessions. There are excesses, to be sure, such as dedicating one’s Facebook page, or front lawn, to some team, so that that is your identity, rather than you being known as a follower of Christ or a loving family member; bad behavior in the stands, or by athletes; idolizing and/or overpaying coaches and players; fans spending too much on tickets, food, travel and paraphernalia; exploiting or abusing athletes; using sports as a vehicle to advertise unwholesome things; universities being identified by their teams, not their scholars; putting priority on games over worship; and too much emphasis on winning come to mind as some of the excesses. It’s too bad that there are excesses, and we should try to eliminate them. If Jesus were alive today, perhaps He would tailgate, but I imagine He would be concerned about the problems of the fans and the participants, rather than caring who won, or how.

Thanks for reading. Now get up and exercise.

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