Being overrun by sports

November 10, 2013

If you are not an avid sports fan, you may feel like an alien from another planet has invaded your space.

The Boston Redsox, won the World Series four games to two, over the St. Louis Cardinals. The home uniforms of both teams are beautiful, but in the minds of Yankee fans, they still remain a distant second to the New York pinstripes worn by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra and Derek Jeter.

By February of next year, pitchers and catchers will be reporting for Spring Training. Baseball players have three months off and then back to the old grind of being “paid to play”.

Believe it or not, football on the collegiate level is quickly drawing to a close and then another Super Bowl to crown the season with all the college bowl game in late December and early January. Basketball on every level is now underway.

There are always teams who seem to win most of the time. Championships are expected of them.

I watched a game recently in which the home team was winning 20-0 at the end of the first half. It looked like it would be an easy win on “Homecoming Day”. The score at the end of the game was 21-20 in favor of the opposing visiting team. How could one team score 20 points while holding the visiting team scoreless and lose by one point?

I have a valued gift book from my son, Mark, on my birthday, January 25, 2002, personally autographed by the book’s author, Yogi Berra. It is titled, “I Really Didn’t Say Everything I Said.” Sound confusing? He also said, “You can observe a lot by watching,” “You can’t think and hit at the same time” and “90% of the game is half mental.”

The next time I speak to a high school, college or professional team, in any sport, I hope I remember to tell the team that Yogi also said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” Win or lose you have to play the whole game.

Sports stars must train and prepare to be winners. My pastor, the Rev. Dr. Melissa Pratt, recently walked 68.8 miles in every area of Putnam County, West Virginia, where she serves as pastor of Teays Valley Church of God. It is a rapidly growing church. We learned a lot about the preparation for such a four-day walk, averaging 17 miles each day.

The Sunday morning of November 3, Dr. Pratt, reminded us of these goals for success in life.

1. Setting goals will keep us disciplined and moving in a forward direction.

2. Setting goals will keep us from aimlessness. (I Corinthians 9:26 “I do not run like a man running aimlessly.”)

3. Setting goals keep us from wasting time. Ephesians 5:16 tells us we are supposed to be smart about the way we use our time.

4. Setting goals helps us overcome distractions. Distractions can be the death of your dreams.

5. Setting goals simplifies other life decisions.

6. Setting goals will produce persistence and determination.

In conclusion, Dr. Pratt encouraged her congregation in two services that morning to set SMART goals. She said, “Remember that SMART goals are those which are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.”

Do not be overrun by sports. Keep every area of your life in control. He is not known as the Rev. Dr. Yogi Berra, but his message is better than some sermons I have heard and preached. Pay attention to Yogi and the Bible. The Word of God is the supreme authority to which we must answer.

© 2013 Wm. C. Ellis

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