Tuesday, July 28, 2020

“Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” My Sports and Spirituality Response

In Sunday's first reading, King Solomon—the son of David—is asked told by the Lord God, who appears to him a dream, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” Perhaps this is a command you have always wanted to hear. Maybe you think with this question comes too much responsibility. Surely one's response reveals a great deal about the respondent. Are they selfless or selfish? Forward thinking or in the moment? Visionary or practical? Moral or realistic? Solomon offers a beautiful reply. He answered:
“O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, king
to succeed my father David;
but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act.
I serve you in the midst of the people whom you have chosen,
a people so vast that it cannot be numbered or counted.
Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart
to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong.
For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”
I have always loved Solomon's request. The LORD too, was pleased. As it is written,
So God said to him:
“Because you have asked for this—
not for a long life for yourself,
nor for riches,
nor for the life of your enemies,
but for understanding so that you may know what is right—
I do as you requested.
I give you a heart so wise and understanding
that there has never been anyone like you up to now,
and after you there will come no one to equal you.”
For what would you ask the Lord God? If you're not sure, consider for a moment, you as the best version of yourself. Let your response emanate from that vision. I think this is a great question for students and teachers, parents and children, even coaches and athletes to share and pray with together.

And before you bring that dialogue to a close, I say why not have some fun with the Word. Spending time with scripture need not always be serious. Imagine, for a moment the Lord God stating, "Ask something of me that is related to sports, and I will give it to you." How would you reply? 

I need not hesitate or pray over this one. I determined a few months ago. This is not a bucket list item because it is largely out of my control. I need to be invited as someone's guest. Getting to this corner of Georgian isn't that easy...etc. Maybe that's what makes wishes so... well...wishful and fun!?
Here's my response
“O LORD, my God, you have made me, your servant, teacher and coach
Give me the opportunity to play golf at Augusta National, the home of The Masters Championship tourney.
I am not even requesting my own foursome, though that would be nice. 
I would love to walk and compete on such hallowed, beautiful grounds. 
Often when I play this game, I contemplate the beauty of nature and marvel at your creation.
I do kindly ask that I have idyllic weather. 
Caddies are included, yes?
In the Bible, there are passages that speak to the trials and tribulations of life and others convey the range of human emotions. Some readings invite us to reflect more personally on the men and women of faith who have gone before us. Familiarizing ourselves with their story  can teach us about ourselves and God's love for us. Adding a personal touch, a willingness to imagine and be open can transform our prayer life and ultimately our relationship with God.

Perhaps I will ask God for what attribute as an athletic director /teacher /coach / daughter/ friend and board member I desire most, with his love and Providence. Once I figure that out, I might as well throw in the prayer to play Augusta, right?

Photo Credits
Female at Augusta

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