Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sports And The Spiritual Life

I watched a lot of basketball today since 3 of my children are playing recreational basketball.  One child had 2 games so that was 4 games to watch.  It's such a fun sport!  I have to admit that I love the fast pace and the fact that games are only about 40 minutes and you're done:)  It's only about a 7 week season and it's great physical exercise during the winter...Good lessons on teamwork are learned by all.

And what about the spiritual life?
This game of basketball got me to thinking...
I enjoy looking at things around me through the eyes of my Catholic Christian faith.  It's so beautiful and it helps keep my eyes "on the ball." 

I thought about our life of faith as I watched the kids race back and forth with the ball.  They struggled and wrestled with that ball until they were red in the face and sweating buckets...All in the name of making that beloved basket, the goal of the game.
I wondered what life would be like if we worked that hard, both physically and spiritually, for our heavenly goal.  No one really wants to die but we all certainly want to go to heaven...Don't we all want that "slam dunk?"  My goodness, then we ought to be working up a sweat to get there!

I pictured this scene...There I am jumping up and down, waving my arms, shouting, "Over here, Lord, it's me, it's me!"...Do you recognize me on your team? Am I worthy of your pass?
Just as I'm shouting out to the Lord, someone runs by and steals my joy, running off with it, just like the opposing team runs off with the ball.  That reminded me of my sin and how it feels to be robbed of that intimate closeness with Jesus.  
If only we got that sense of urgency for reconciliation that we race down to the confessional, just like those kids racing down the court, to get our JOY back.  Lord knows I should be wrestling for it all the way!

Once we get that JOY ball back, we are always ready to head back down the court, eternally grateful:) 

Along the way, we might lose sight and feel alone...
But just as these kids are part of a team, so we are all one body of Christ...We are one team with many members.  We walk together, we should never feel alone.
1 Corinth. 12:12-14
What are we doing to help one another...
Are we pointing the way to heaven?

Are we showing we are Christian by our love?
Well, that's what I love about the spiritual life...Never a dull moment and there's always enough work to keep my ball bouncing off the court, that's for sure.

Will we WIN or LOSE?
Just as we tell our kids...
The answer lies in how well we play the game!
The ultimate win is the goal of course, hoping to someday exclaim...
"I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance."
~2 Timothy 4: 7-8~


  1. Tiffany-I love this! How beautiful to be thinking of the spiritual life as you watch a basketball game! I love all of your comparisons, especially about how someone stealing the ball is like stealing our joy and that confessing our sins will return our joy!

    Our lives certainly do seem to be very similar these days!

    You might like this basketball themed post that I wrote a few years ago:

    God love you dear!

  2. What a perfect analogy! Definitely worth remembering and easy to do with your on court comparison. I will have to remember this one and get better at working on my spiritual game.

  3. This is such a beautiful analogy! So true. I read an e-mail a few years back about if each of us had the same conviction to carry our bible around wherever we go like we do our cell phones!! Have a blessed Sunday, hope you get a moment of two to put your feet up :)

  4. a beautiful reflection Tiffany. You see God's path in everyday life.

  5. lovely reflection. praise God that you are able to find Him in all things!

    jen - that email you referenced, changed me when i read it several years ago. i began carrying my bible with me everywhere! His word is my ultimate 9-1-1 resource.

    pax Christi, lena


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