Sport is something we do, an experience that is hard to describe because it captures our whole selves. Sport draws us in and brings us back, day after day, season after season. We love to play—and yes, to win. Sport can train us, educate us, change us for better or for worse, but that is really not the point. First and foremost, sport is part of a truly abundant human life that Jesus Christ offers for those who love to play. God’s world includes the myth-like space where sport resides, where we celebrate our humanness, our desire to be excellent, and our need to belong. Sport at its best points us toward a future of play and delight. And God is there with us, in every leap, backflip, tackle, spike, and slap shot.
We need to play sport the way we live life: depending on our Creator in every moment and in every action. That means learning how to love God and neighbor better, how to turn away from thoughts and actions that dishonor God and harm ourselves and others, how both to be wary of our own desires and to delight in the good things that God has made. God does delight in this world—including sport. As we experience sport, we participate in that delight by authentically competing, giving ourselves wholeheartedly to the game, testing our abilities, and tasting the pleasure of organized play.