Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Finally Found My Sport

"May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:5

An athlete, I am not. I've never been much of a competitor. Athletic talent and competitive gumption? I don't possess much of either. And I am OK with that. I am very thankful the Lord did not give me one gift without the other (i.e. "competitive gumption" without "athletic ability"). Eeek...the thought!

I am more the cheerleader type. Literally. I was a cheerleader "back in the day" and find I still love cheer leading. I like when everyone wins. I like when everyone gets the opportunity to use their gifts and talents. I like when everyone crosses the finish line to victory.

Though I am not an athlete, this past summer during our vacation at Camp of The Woods, I do believe I found my "sport". That is, if shuffleboard really is considered a sport! (No disrespect intended to shuffleboarders.) I didn't break a sweat. My heart rate did not increase. I didn't even need a hydration break. But it was fun! Plain old fun! Being together with my family and having a great time.

We played shuffleboard every day, and much to everyone's surprise (including mine), mommy was quite the player. It was downright funny to find myself "excelling" in any sort of athletic game (I use the word "excelling" very lightly!). I spent much of the time giggling and knee-slapping in shear amazement that I actually won just about every game I played. All of us enjoyed hardy belly laughs as wifey, mommy and sista here seemed to be in a groove. Silliness overcame me, and I found myself making up funny victory dances while twirling the thingy-ma-jiggy that you use to shuffle the disc across the board. (The kids didn't know mommy could twirl anything!) My stomach muscles got more of a work-out from laughing than they have gotten in years. (I guess that makes shuffleboard a sport, hunh?)

Playing shuffleboard with my family was delightful. We laughed so much together, and our cherubs saw mommy in a different light, which put ear-to-ear grins on their sweet faces. It was a family affair, and the memories are precious.

Shuffling through life, I delight in seeing how others ("teammates") use their gifts and talents to serve and glorify God. Although I may have finally found "my sport" on vacation this year (I'm grinning), I am still a cheerleader at heart.

This life can be hard. It's even harder when you feel beaten down by your own team. As Christians, why can we be so hard on each other? May God purify our hearts and give us sincere love for each other such that we truly rejoice with one another and spur one another one. We're all on the same team...all in the same family. And our team needs more cheerleaders.

Let's encourage one another, want God's best for each other and rejoice when our teammates score one for the team with a pure heart. Let's let prayers be our pom poms. Let's have God's Word resound in our megaphones. Let's rejoice with others as God blesses them with the privilege and responsibility to let their lights shine for His glory.
There is a place for healthy competition, I know. But honestly, as we run this race with perseverance in such a way to finish well and get the eternal prize, I think we need more cheerleaders. "...so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:5

Now, I need to go find those pom poms......

"His pleasure is not in the strength of the horses,
nor His delight in the legs of a man;
for the Lord delights in those who fear Him,
who put their hope in His unfailing love."
Psalm 147:10-11
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
2 Timothy 4:7


Blessed Mom of 8 said...

AMEN Sharon!

I agree - we need to be cheering each other onto the goal of Christ Jesus - not tear each other down!

Big hugs sweet friend!


Geneva said...

From one non-competitive, non-athlete to another, Amen, sista! I find I miss spending time with you more and more often and it seems our hearts are often in the same places. Love ya, Genie

Wendy Blight said...

AMEN!! So relieved to find another mom who does not join her kids out on the soccer field and basketball court. I do try...but mostly I provide my husband and son with much laughter. My place is in the stands and on the sidelines, cheering Bo along, "talking" to the refs when they don't quite see things correctly, and taking lots of pictures.

Lauren is a varsity high school cheerleader. I watch her every Friday night cheering her school on. I had never thought about taking our "cheer leader" roles into the world, about my prayers being "pom poms." Thank you for this beautiful visual today. I am going to send an e-mail "pom" to a friend today just as soon as I sign off!!

Thanks for encouraging me today!


Danielle said...

I was a cheerleader for many years as a youth, and boy what it meant to be able to lift up your team and squad. You are so right, Sharon, that we should be lifting each other up and cheering each other on.

So many times you see people hurting and it's because of something said by someone of 'the church'. God's heart must hurt deeply then.

Thank you for sharing this today. It has encouraged me to get off the bench and pick up those pom-poms, and Spirit stick and get yelling!

Rachel Olsen said...

I like shuffelboard too, Sharon. Oh and skee ball - love that "sport"!

A fellow former cheerleader, cheering in different ways now ~ Rachel

Mich said...

I have never played...but as a fellow "nonathletic cheerleader" I think I might have to try it sometime...

~PakKaramu~ said...

Visiting your blog

Heather said...

Nope, not an athlete either and I LOVE when everyone wins :)This is a great post Sharon, such truth in what you wrote. But I have to say, in one respect you are an athlete among athletes, you run the good race. You know well of the prize and run with gusto to get there. You are a mentor and prayer warrior in that race. So, cheerleader, oh yes, but also my dear, one of the finest athletes I have ever known.

I love you

Verne said...

So true! I'm cheering you on. Hope we can meet in heaven some day. Blessings