Recap video of Maranatha’s CIF-SS D-5 Girls Tennis Championship
Last week, we had a post entitled, We Must Play. It’s a must read. Well, along those lines, a few weeks ago, Sandra and I had the privilege of coaching the Maranatha High School Varsity Girls Tennis Team to a CIF-SS D-5 Championship. It was a stressful but thrilling two weeks of intense playing, soul-searching, and figuring out how to be able to produce our best when our best is needed. The playoffs are not for the faint of heart. Sports is a great revealer of things. It has been said that when you play competitive sports, the real you comes out.
It is incredibly difficult to win a championship at any level; there is an incredible amount of focus, discipline, character, desire, perspective, and providence that must all come together for the desired result to occur; and even then, there are no guarantees it will. So many others want the same thing, yet only one will be left standing.
I want to remind you that while only one team or one person can win the championship, it is absolutely possible for more than one to come out a champion. Your “thing” may or may not be sports; but whatever it is, you can come out a true winner – if you figure out how to do it to His honor, to represent Him well, with your very best effort with integrity, with grace and fairness towards your competitors – regardless of the outcome. Col. 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men.” If you do that, you are a winner in the eyes of the only One that matters.
We are grateful for God’s generosity and kindness to us in granting us the championship; but as I told our team, it comes with great responsibility of stewardship and giving credit to Whom credit is due. Our theme verse was 1 Cor. 10:31, “Whether then you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” While our team really wanted to earn championship rings, we agreed that, more than for the ring alone, we are playing for the “King of the ring.”
Your “thing” may or may not be sports; but whatever it is, you can come out a true winner – if you figure out how to do it to His honor, to represent Him well, with your very best effort with integrity, with grace and fairness towards your competitors – regardless of the outcome. Col. 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men.” If you do that, you are a winner in the eyes of the only One that matters.
This was the first time in my years of coaching boys and girls tennis that both finalists were Christian schools, both bearing witness. After the ceremony was over, a long-time CIF official made a point to come to me and let me know that it was the finest display of sportsmanship at the ceremony that he’s seen, and that that’s how high school sports should be.
Indeed, it has been an opportunity to give thanks to God and attempt to represent Him well. If you’re interested, here are a couple of newspaper articles. They don’t always include the faith aspects into their stories, even when you share it with them, but you can still catch the drift:
TD’ers, none of us is going to go through the game of life smoothly. We’re going to have bumps and bruises, successes and failures along the way. My dad used to remind me that failure is the foundation of success. He’s right. Failure can be such a powerful teacher. I’ve always told people that the mark of a Christian is not whether you fall (you will), but the manner in which you get up when you fall.
I encourage you all during this finals season to prepare well, think well, treat others well, put God first, love your family, live honorably and consistently inside and out, and trust Him. If you do, whatever the results, you will have earned true victory. Amen.
Go get’ em! – Coach Arthur 🙂