For the next three days I plan to be in Haines City, Florida for the 2006 Florida Christian Activities Association state basketball tournament. For the last 9 years I have had the privilege of coaching the Lee County Home School's girls varsity team. We are allowed to compete in a league of small Christian high schools that is divided into 4 regions throughout the state of Florida. We are the Southwest Regional champs this year.
The Lady Ambassadors are a great bunch of girls who would most likely not get to play on a high school team were it not for the LCHS athletic association. Every year I have had at least one daughter on the team. Most years--including this one--I have had two (guess which ones are mine). With my son playing on the boys' team, my two oldest girls serving as assistants, my youngest playing on the practice team (affectionately known as the "Haflings") and Donna handling many of the behind-scenes-logistics, this has become for us a real family affair.
Each Winter and Spring LCHS basketball has provided a great source of recreation and connecting with young people.
Of course, since all of life is theological, basketball cannot be fully appreciated until it is viewed theologically. 1 Corinthians 10:31 is our team verse: "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." This verse is the key to helping us to go all out in playing basketball without allowing it to become an idol. Eating and drinking are not very dramatic activities. In fact, they are very mundane. Yet, Paul specifically mentions them as examples of "whatever" we might do, admonishing us that even in eating and drinking, God's glory is to be our aim. The same holds true for basketball.
What I try to teach my girls is this: basketball is not very important. It's just a game. But if you are going to play it, you better play it to the glory of God. That includes doing your best, being respectful of your opponents, the referees, fans, coaches and teammates. It means learning to win and to lose graciously. And it means remembering that Jesus Christ lived and died to reconcile us to God, so that we can pursue our greatest joy by seeking His greatest glory.
All of this to say that I will probably not be blogging much the rest of the week. Our first game is scheduled for Thursday morning at 10 AM. If we win, we must play again Thursday afternoon at 4 PM. If we win that game, we are in the finals on Friday at 3 PM.