This summer I have realized a national phenomenon in a personal way. My family has always enjoyed sports. I played baseball, basketball and football growing up and loved it. At 10 years of age we would have a weekly baseball practice and a Saturday game. I looked forward to going to the ballpark every week. As I grew older the amount of games and practice naturally increased. I would go to basketball camp in the summer and baseball camp in the fall or winter.In High School the demands were even greater, so much so that I decided to commit to only playing football and baseball my sophomore year.
However, I have recently realized that there as been a colossal shift in the time and resource commitment required to play sports, be in band, act in a drama etc.Every week of this summer, except for TWO mandatory ‘rest’ weeks, my lil’ sister will be playing basketball somewhere in America. Yes, somewhere in America!
Today middle-school aged ‘children’ will play anywhere from 5 – 15 games of basketball per week.
She has played in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Ohio that I know of. REMINDER: She is 13 years old. Is there any chance we have over-emphasized games and under emphasized life?
Most Youth Pastors like me struggle to get kids to go to church camp because we can’t schedule around the 100 sports/drama/band/music/art/etc. camps. A week of character teaching, friendship enriching, moral strengthening and disciple making just isn’t as important to Christian folk as it once was.
I’m tired of hearing people complain about today’s youth. When the average father spends less than 60 seconds talking with their children per day, what do you expect? We want our kids to shoot 100 free throws in the backyard, practice piano for 45 minutes and dance for 2 hours, (All good things, don’t get me wrong) but never spend five minutes with God as a family. Has your family had a devotional time together in the last 60 days? Has our desire for excellence been placed on insignificant things too much?
Today’s teen can navigate the Internet with a master degree level of skill, but do they even know how to open the map of life? Early in our math education we are taught proportions. I think we should examine our commitment proportions. How committed are we to the important things of life vs. the not so important things of life?
What say You???
5 thoughts on “Excellence in the Mundane, Mediocre in the Important”
Brad, We are so blessed to have you as our youth Pastor.I saw you and the teenagers hanging out playing football one Tuesday night.I said to myself,”Brad loves what he does and the kids love him and it shows.”LoveIn his name,Victoria Sedlacek
Thanks so much.
Teaching in a school district that puts far too much emphasis on sports and not enough on education, I would say priorities are definitly awry. I do believe this starts at home with the parents. Parents making tough decisions to not allow their child to play in a ballgame, because he/she has to attend a family gathering instead, or whatever other “life building” activities they are missing out on. At my school district, there is an amazing amount of pressure put on teachers to keep athletes at a passing level, regardless of their academic or social behaviors. It is distrubing to me. I love sports more than the next person, and i believe sports can be immensely beneficial to a persons mental and physical development but the focus on what is actually important has been lost.
I have found with my children (teens) that sports is super recreation. I also find that it is an excellent way for we, as parents, to get involved in the community and in the lives of unbelievers. If all we do is “church stuff” then we are not out in the world as we should be. Don’t get me wrong- the Lord, family and education are top priority but man, when God gifts you for athletics, then you should use those gifts every bit as much for God’s glory as going to Youth Camp!!! Just a thought:)
I think my point has been missed…let me clarify: Sports are an incredible avenue to get into the community. I am a sports lover – more so than most. I have been involved in sports and sports outreach my whole life. One of my friends, Ron Bishop heads up SCORE international – a mission agency just for that purpose. My point was simply that obssesive youth league sports are becoming an epidemic of sorts. Every week you can read about coaches going over the edge, winning at all costs in 9 year old baseball. It is important that we take a step back and evaluate our priorities. In my own life I have been guilty of stating the correct set priorities, but living another set.