Sports

The Spirit of the Game- Reflections From Sarah Hart of EU Women’s Golf

     My decision to play golf was based solely on my family’s shared enjoyment of the sport. As I have become more serious about my faith, the struggle that has emerged is how to integrate  my faith into my golf game. While Colossians 3:23 commands us to do everything with all of our heart, I find myself constantly wondering how I am working for the Lord by hitting a ball with a metal contraption. During my time at Eastern, I have come to realize that worshipping God involves more than what we choose to do with our time; it is also about how we treat others. I worship God when I show the love of Christ to my teammates and recognize the importance of each member to the team.

     In John 13, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet as an act of service. He humbled himself before those he loved to willingly clean filthy feet. This image of washing another’s feet depicts the image I have of God’s intention for a team. Being a part of a community provides us the opportunity to serve one another in so many beautiful ways. I have not always understood this and have spent a good number of years being so focused on my own life. When I am feeling down, it is easy to fall into the dark pit of self-pity, but there is something uplifting about shifting one’s focus to others. When my own life isn’t going so well, celebrating my teammates’ victories reminds me that God is good. Now I am learning how to find joy by focusing my attention on the person next to me.

     There is a level of selflessness that comes with being a part of a team. When I am on the course there are times when I have to put myself aside for the sake of the team. Although golf is partly individual, the team can only win if each team member does well. We serve one another when we each do our best, but we will only want to serve on the course when we understand how to serve one another off the course. Sometimes serving means doing without asking questions. Other times it means going beyond and doing something before you have even been asked.

     Serving one another is not easy. In a world full of constant distraction, it can be hard to be fully present. When it is hard to listen to a friend who is struggling, I learn to listen better for next time. When life is exhausting and getting up for a 6:30 a.m. workout is not the ideal scenario, I have to fight against the temptation to have a bad attitude. When everything is going well and I don’t want it to end, I embrace the laughter because I know that I have a community that will stand beside me through it all. Christ intends for us to experience life together through both the good and bad. We are not alone. May we strive to emulate this love Christ exudes by serving our teammates, friends and family with a spirit of lowliness.

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