Thursday, May 17, 2012
DESPITE MY ACTIVITIES - I was at mass every Sunday without fail. I didn't have "home church" on the weekends I was out of town. I went to mass all over the state, and even all over the country. My family prayed the rosary, went to daily mass and prayed at every meal. When I had a free weekend, I would attend a retreat somewhere within the diocese. During the summer, I went to the Pines Catholic Camp.
There was balance in my life. I had plenty of time with my friends, plenty of time at home with my family, I was always participating in some school or extracurricular activity, but God always came first. My priorities were in order - God first, family second, education third, fun/social stuff last.
I do not hate sports. I do not think sports are evil. I do not think sports are immoral. In fact, I LOVE sports. The problem is not _______ (you can fill in the blank with sports, plays, dance, band, whatever) but act of placing these activities before the Lord. When you make the choice to play a tournament on Easter Sunday, the most important day of the liturgical year - I'd be sad that you made that decision instead of telling your coach you're not willing to play a game on such an important day of your faith. Yes, I get mad that coaches will schedule sporting events Sunday morning. I get frustrated that kids pick to be in dance lessons on Wednesday Night when everyone knows that's "church night". Do I think dance is wrong? No, but I would rather see a student choose to have their Wednesday night free so they can come and pray, learn and grow in faith with their peers.
Faith has so much to offer. It shapes the whole person through and through. It shapes us through our entire lifetime, and when it's all said and done, your faith will lead you to be with Christ for eternity. I loved my sports. My participation in them have shaped my life and has molded me to be a strong and athletic individual. So has my family, so have my friends, so has the Pines, so has Texas A&M, and the Corps of Cadets. So has being a rafting guide and wildlife biologist... Despite all these incredible things I've been a part of, my faith has shaped me more. It's helped me to be MUCH stronger, than all the other experiences combined have.
Those who underestimate faith JUST DON'T GET IT!
Education will help you be a smart individual. It'll get you into a good college. It will probably help you make more money. It will probably even help you find a more beautiful/handsome spouse. It will put you at the top of your society.
Sports, will help you learn determination. It'll help you be physically fit. It will help you develop a balance of getting everything done, and also fit in your other activity. It'll give you friends, and teach you what it means to be on a team. It'll give you something to do so you're not bored. It will help you learn to compete so when challenged, you can learn to try and be on top.
Creative arts like band, art, and acting - will help you develop your creativity. It'll expand your comfort level of ability and allow you to freely create new and exciting ideas and way of experiencing life. It also helps you develop teamwork, and allows you to put all the pieces together in a way that is fitting and good.
All these things are GOOD THINGS!!! These are WONDERFUL THINGS! But without God, without faith, all these things are meaningless. We should use our education to serve the Lord - and to bring others to him through further theological understanding. We could not/would not be athletes without the gifts that God gave us to use them. Our creative arts are gifts given by God to make his world a little brighter and we are the instruments he uses to paint and color his world. Those things are good and wonderful, but only lead to worldly happiness rather than eternal happiness. Without the Lord working within these things, they are just another way of using up our time. Unless the Lord is 1st - those things will all die out and you'll be left empty and searching for meaning and purpose for your life. When you get to that point after years of ignoring your call to faith, turn to Christ and he will give meaning and joy to all your life's activities.
For the record, I do not hate sports. I do not think sports are evil. I do not think sports are immoral. In fact, I LOVE sports! The difference is I put the Lord first - and he works within them.