“This is the day that the Lord had made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
– Psalm 118:24 (ESV)
In his book, InsideOut Coaching, Joe Ehrmann tells the story of a struggling Syracuse University lacrosse team that was down by a score of 7-3 at halftime. It was an away game being played in the rain and many of the players were suffering from the flu. The players expected a tough halftime speech from their coach, Roy Simmons, Jr. As they waited, soaking wet and exhausted, Coach Simmons simply stood in the locker room looking at them. Then, he went over to the chalkboard and wrote in big, bold numbers 118-24! Turning to face his players, Coach Simmons looked each player in the eye and smiled. What could it possibly mean? Was this a new play to be used in the second half? “Psalm 118, verse 24. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. That’s it men. Win, lose or draw—ENJOY! Let’s get back out there and play like you love the game and each other.” Syracuse dominated the second half!.
What a great lesson! Sports are meant to be enjoyed regardless of the score. Sports are a gift and a privilege to play. Sports foster a satisfying sense of community. When we enjoy what we’re doing and enjoy who we’re doing it with, team performance automatically improves. When we play with the desire to honor our Heavenly Father we complete at another level. A tradition was born that day. Players continue to post the numbers 118-24 on the chalkboard year after year.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the opportunity that each day brings.. Give me an appreciation for the game and the people I love playing with. May I always remember that this day is a gift from You, to be valued and used wisely. In Jesus name, Amen.