The Gift of Life
Reaching the Goal through Soccer
On December 28, 2013 campers at the FCA Soccer Feeds Memphis II Christmas Camp at Dulins Gameday Center in Memphis, Tennessee, reached their goal. Although, it was three days after Christmas, a time at which the Ultimate Gift was given, our soccer campers were still making gifts and praising The Giver of Life.
For three days they were being taught the vital skills of soccer and values, techniques and models of what it means to be a Christian Athlete. They were nurtured and given confidence in the good that dwells within them and their future as leaders and participants in the game of life. Standards and rules were explained by their mentors and instructors, discipline and focus was illustrated and emphasized. Each day every camper took home a baseball size card that explained our focus of soccer skills on one side with the other side reminding them of how the Biblical Truth of faith is the foundation for all success now and forever.
There are requirements for all of us if we are to reach our goals. We are all part of a team, we are connected by all sorts of phenomena. The team operates most effectively when it acts like a team, competes like a team, executes like a team, focuses like a team, and reaches a common goal while respecting and promoting each other’s well-being.
We should be ever mindful of the great wisdom of the sports writer, Grantland Rice, “And, when that One Great Scorer comes to write against our name, it matters not that we won or lost, but how we played the game.”
Playing the game of life, as the campers were taught, means it is not always about “you” it is about playing to make a difference by using their gifts and talents to encourage, support, and pass off to others so that the “team” can achieve their goal. Life itself is a competition and we are all players in the game. And, as an old school teacher/coach said to his students, “When you become a very old man, remember, that your very old coach said to you, never be a spectator, always take a hand in the game.” Coach Ross Paule, FCA Soccer Camp Director, made the focus of the camp: Difference Makers. “Players who play the game to just get by and survive cannot reach their full potential, it takes the mentality to be a difference maker on the field and off, in the role you have to be all God made you to be.”, says Paule.
What we saw in the closing hours, as we did throughout the camp, was the sharing and “passing off, in word and deed, the Gospel of our Lord”, to guide us and grow us in the Faith. In order that we might in turn “pass on” these truths and values to others, to uplift, inspire, and care for them as brothers and sisters, in their game of life.
We have the best role model of all in the giving of self, our Lord Jesus Christ. And, we saw this most vividly by adult volunteers giving two days of their Christmas holiday and campers joyously and triumphantly giving of themselves to package 10,000 meals for those who know hunger on a daily basis in Memphis, Tennessee. Now that’s a difference maker!
We are blessed to bless others!