Worship Through Sport
Written by Andy Mattinson
There is a mind-set among some people about what worship is, and I don’t think it is necessarily true. Singing, dancing, playing music, praying and bible reading are all a part of worship, and in my experience a lot of people think that those are the only forms of worship. However, I believe that no matter what it is we do in our lives, as long as it is good and true and we represent God through it, worship can be what you make it. Sport, baking, art. Anything we do where we can display what God can do in our lives.
I worship through water polo, I play for Bolton School, City of Manchester Water Polo Club and I am fortunate enough to be a member of the U17s national squad, with aspirations to play for GB at the Euros in three years’ time.
Worship through water polo is far from easy; there are many things that can throw me off playing in a manner that represents God. Firstly water polo is the dirtiest game under the sun. What the referee doesn't see goes, and the referee can't really see under water so you can imagine all the nips, punches, biting and kicks that take place!
Secondly referees can be hard to deal with, sometimes in the past if I didn't agree with a decision I would let the referee know, but that doesn't represent God. The key is to not retaliate to anything but instead pray. I know if I can feel myself getting worked up I will sub out, take a moment on the bench give it to God and say a prayer. Prayer is a big part to my success, I pray before every training session and match. I don't pray that I will win, I pray that I keep my cool, that God puts me where he wants me and that I enjoy it.
Enjoying it is probably just as important as making sure you play in a respectful Christian manner. If you don't enjoy it what's the point? Who are you making happy? God? He will be happy with however you choose to worship, if he gives you a calling like he has with me then he wouldn't call you to do something you don't enjoy so just trust in him, set goals with him and you can achieve them in the palm of his hands. God won't put you up to a challenge unless he knows you can get through it. If we are going to do something for God we should do it to the best of our ability. A very wise man once told me, aim very high because if you only just miss out on your goal you are still going to be way up there.
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