On Monday, December 14, the final buzzer sounded on the 6th grade boys’ basketball season. After the players shook hands with the opponents from Demotte, they walked to the locker room with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment as they had just completed an undefeated season that included a first place finish at the Calvary Classic 6th grade tournament.
Is the win and loss record the only factor to consider when determining whether a season was “successful”? Should Christian school players approach and play sports any differently? Are sports important to God? Does God even care about sports and whether we win or lose?
On a Friday night in November the boys on the team returned to school for pizza and movie night where they watched Facing the Giants. There were a couple points made in the movie that our players carried with them through the season. First, God may or may not care whether we win. but he does care about how we play and carry ourselves. Furthermore, sports actually become more important when we view them as an opportunity to honor and glorify God. When our players took the court, they understood that they were representing our school and God.
Team captain Landen Babusiak reflects, “I think God would be pleased with our team because throughout the season we always showed good sportsmanship and we always tried to glorify God in all of our games and in every situation.”
The season also included a regular 30 minutes of team devotions each Saturday after practice, where the boys discussed numerous Bible passages that connected physical training to spiritual training. “That brought me and the whole team closer to God,” Landen continues, “and also brought the team together to become closer friends.”
The players took seriously the challenge to take what they learned in their devotions and apply it on the court. This could be seen in simple things like helping an opposing player up, always respecting the calls of the referee, playing as a team and not as individuals, thanking the referees after each game, always showing proper respect to the opposing players, and even forming a prayer circle with the opposing team after one of the games.
So as the 2015 6th grade boys’ basketball season is reflected upon, it certainly can be called a successful season, for reasons that reach far beyond the win and loss record. As it says in I Corinthians 10:31, “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Written by Jeff Stallinga, 6th Grade Boys Basketball Coach