Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters…”-2 Thessalonians 1:3a (NIV)
In the midst of life’s demands and myriad daily responsibilities, it is good to slow down from time to time to celebrate. Due to the speed of modern-day life, we can easily miss the so-called “little things” that truly add meaning and beauty. Sometimes we need to celebrate events, other times it is good to acknowledge people.
Last week’s World Cup final was one of those special moments where you simply feel grateful for the grace of being alive. Whether you supported France or Argentina, it was a match for the ages. What continues to amaze me, although I have been around sport for a while, is the magnetic unifying force that sport has. Millions of Argentinians welcomed their champion team home. The President of France personally attended that thrilling 3-3 draw in Qatar. Whatever the ultimate score line was, celebrate the moment.
I appreciate the excellence of Mbappe and Messi, the poise of the two coaches, Argentina’s Scaloni and France’s Deschamps, and the pure passion of the fans. Transient as sporting results are, the momentary joy, togetherness, and solidarity in spite of differences in race, nationality, or gender, offer hope that human harmony is possible. Celebrate the moment.
2022 is almost over and a New Year beckons after the holiday season. Now is an opportune time to reflect with gratitude on the year gone by. The fact that you are alive to read this is not an entitlement but a divine gift. Consider Paul, Silas and Timothy in the passage above expressing appreciation to men and women in their spiritual community. Celebrate the people in your life.
A fascinating World Cup has come to an end. “Normal” life returns, but only to some degree because COVID-19 is still here. We all have a chance to take a breath, look around us and practice three simple disciplines: appreciation, celebration and imitation.
Though we are all broken vessels, find something worthy of imitation in the lives of those around you. Remember to thank them for their example.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.