|This is who we prayed for in class on game day.|
But one approach I believe in and live by is that we can help someone understand something by pointing to excellence. For example, when I return papers, I always have two students who wrote outstanding essays share them with the class. Their peers identify why its strong; we know excellence when we see it!
|This is what we are working toward!|
Fortunately, I had a thoughtful and fresh example at my fingertips. A former student sent me the article about a devout Muslim football player, Ameer Abdullah. The ESPN article Ameer Abdullah Makes His Way shares the story of this impressive young man, a running back at the University of Nebraska. In Sports and Spirituality, my students look at the spiritual disciplines of many athletes. Abdullah's commitment to fasting during Ramandan is impressive, but so is his approach to prayer.
He says, "I say a little prayer before every game, wishing myself, my teammates and the opposing teammates the best of luck, asking the Lord to help us use our talents just to glorify him [and] not to be selfish or self-motivated today, just to let our talents glorify him and keep us safe from injury, to allow us to go out and show everything we've worked for the week before." Simple. Authentic and worth sharing.
|#8, Ameer Abdullah|
So, as the Giants take on the Nationals in the National League Division Series, I would like to ask God to help all the athletes use their talents to glorify him. Keep them safe from injury. Let the fruits of their labor bring joy to all those who watch the game. And for the fans, keep your communities safe and give thanks for baseball in October. Amen.