I'm a sucker for a good sports analogy. There's a certain irony in that - people who know me know how entirely un-athletic I am. I enjoy watching sports (a dedicated NHL and NFL fan) but a childhood heart murmur gave me just the excuse I needed to avoid actually participating in anything physical. The only sweat I broke was between my ears – great for the report card, not so much for developing group social skills.
The benefit and curse of that follow me still.
My career took an unexpected turn in 1991 when I took a position as a job counselor which evolved into image consulting and career coaching - and there a “Coach” was born… as was my fascination with sports analogies and my ability to feel vicariously athletic through a title.
Relating sports training to business practices and professional development is common, but I specially love sport analogies related to matters of faith.
Debby Stokes White, Connections Director at Fair Oaks Church recently published a post on the Fair Oaks Arts blog called Strength Training that hit the “sweet spot” of sport-faith analogies and I encourage you to check it out.
Here is one of my favorite passages:
“It takes FOLLOW THROUGH. I don't know about you, but when I workout, there is always a point where I want to quit. My muscles are tired, or I'm bored with it, or I just don't think I can go on. But, if I do push through, I feel sooooo good afterward. I feel refreshed, and strong and like I can take on the world. The same goes for our time spent with our Heavenly Father. It's not supposed to be easy! It's hard work being changed and shaped and molded into who God calls us to be. It takes discipline on our part and a lot of follow through. Sure, it would be easy to quit in the middle of it, but if we can just keep going and give God our best, the end result is amazing.”
Now go read the rest of it!
If you scroll down to the bottom of my blog, you’ll see a “bookshelf” and on it is a book called Jesus, Life Coach by Laurie Beth Jones. This is also a great read.
There’s a line from one of my favorite movies, The Perfect Stranger, where the Jesus character relates his role in the trinity to the role of a football coach. Essentially saying that asking God in your heart just gets you in the game, you’ve got to let Jesus COACH you and the Holy Spirit play along side you to find purpose and joy on the field.
I’m particularly fond of that one because it reminds us that our relationship with Jesus is unique to the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit – all three are important and needed – and the dynamics are different with each.
Another sport-faith favorite of mine is Facing the Giants – a must see, if you haven’t already. With both of these films (as with most Christian films, unfortunately) you enjoyment level is directly related to your ability to surrender the idea that it could be Oscar material. I look forward to a return of the days when Hollywood hottest talent (like in the 1956 “The 10 Commandments”) are chomping at the bit to be in the latest Christian Epic film … but that’s a whole other blog post topic.