Faith in Sports: Women’s Basketball & Pre-Game Devotionals
Every high school senior faces a challenge: what does one do with the rest of their life? Some know exactly the career they wish to pursue and make a run for it. Others are not as sure. As a senior in high school, I was not confident in my future plans. I was sure about going to college but did not know where or what for. The only absolute was basketball, therefore when Coach Mo presented the opportunity to play at the next level, it was no surprise that I happily agreed. Little did I know how being a part of this team would impact my life in such a short amount of time.
The Women’s Basketball Team at Greenville University begins every game with a devotional. The purpose of this exercise is to take a moment and look at the big picture. To realize that yes, basketball is important to all of us, but it is not what we should be fully devoted to. This exercise has been one of the many things done as a team that has pushed me to the limits when it comes to faith.
Too often, Christian athletes fall into the practices of athletes who do not follow Christ. We forget to play for God, or even our teammates and choose to play for ourselves only. There is an automatic selfish mentality that often comes with sports. A mentality that says, “I just need to focus on getting mine.” However, the women’s team at GU is known to be a program working for each other and with each other. Setting aside time for devotionals is just one ingredient to the recipe for the championship culture we strive to create and live up to.
Below is a sample devotional that I created in hope to speak to each of you:
The odds of becoming a human-being are so slim that it is basically zero. The crazy part is that the least likely happened and you were born. That is how special and unique each person is. Many times I find myself thinking, I’m not worth it. I’m not good enough. She does it better. I’m nothing special. As soon as I catch myself thinking these dark thoughts, I stop myself because no matter how down and worthless I feel like I may be, I remind myself where I find my worth: in Christ.
I cannot fathom the thought that some people perceive themselves as unworthy of life, or believe that they are not good enough, or dwell on the falsity that someone else is better, or assume that they are not unique. The truth lies in statistics, but not in statistics alone. There was a possibility that four trillion other forms of yourself could have been born instead of you, but alternately, God chose who you are for some specific reason to be given life. So, remember this the next time you think you are not worth it, not good enough—that someone else does it better, or you are nothing special.
You are unique. You are worthy. You are capable. You are strong. And because of this, God calls all members of an athletic team to play for the other. The Greenville University Women’s Basketball Program engages in a devotional before each game in order to remind themselves to give God glory and encourage one another to be the unique athletes God intended each of them to be.