Friday, February 8, 2008

Faith and Tennis

Most of the time we don’t try to relate sports to faith. We try to be good sports, but we don’t go beyond that in bringing our religious lives to our sports. There are some ways that I try to keep the two separate, one of which is with winning. I don’t think I should thank God when the team wins, even though many people do this. Thanking God is basically saying that God was on your side and wanted you to win and the other side to lose. I don’t like this because I don’t think I’m necessarily a better person than my opponents are (though usually a better tennis player).

Another way I try to keep the two separate is in pacifism. I generally consider myself a pacifist, but in tennis sometimes it is useful to try to smash the ball at opponents. This isn’t really warfare, because I’m not trying to seriously hurt or kill anyone on the other team. However in tennis it is good for me to have the mentality in which I want to crush my opponent(s) and not let them win any games, which isn’t usually associated with pacifism..

I think our team has done a good job of bringing in faith and connecting it to the sport through devotionals, but not taking it to the extreme. The new idea Matt introduced this year of giving time or money when we win is also a good way for us to connect tennis to faith. It helps us thank God for our wins through actions and not just in words that can make us sound arrogant. The only problem with the idea is that I’ll have to give a lot of money next year when we win state.

--- Daniel Buschert

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