Playing sport is an Australian passion. It’s a significant part of our national psyche; engaging our attention, demanding our allegiance, consuming our finances and exhausting our energy. There is something about us that desires the challenge, excitement and excellence explored through physical competition. It’s part of who we are, part of God’s creative nature, that as whole beings, we live our lives to the full. Humanity, as a complex integration of mind, body and soul, thrives in the challenge of pushing boundaries and overcoming obstacles. Competitive sport enables society to satisfy these longings in an acceptable and safe, controlled environment. At our best, we incorporate all our resources to play well, valuing skill, endurance and fairness. It is not enough to be the victors, we all desire to be fair and just in our play. This value of doing the right thing is a strong part of the mix towards becoming a competent athlete.  We are complex beings created to involve all of our parts in everything we do. Jesus saw the problem of trying to compartmentalise our lives into specific areas. Our lives become dysfunctional when we build walls separating our spiritual, social, financial and physical components. Jesus encouraged those he met to integrate all of themselves into their whole lives.

Compassion and humility are as essential in the sports arena as excellence and discipline are in our spiritual journey. Jesus challenges us all to lift our game in every area of our lives. This is what we are created for, to be the best you that you can be – striving, seeking, caring, giving, waiting, learning and being all that we are for God, ourselves and each other. For the full message from Rev Malcolm Rawlings see you on Sunday.