Week Five

Eagle Devotional: Who Do You Play For?

As we near the halfway point in the season, it’s a good time to evaluate why we play and for whom we play. In any endeavor, no matter how noble or good, even a good thing can become more important in our hearts than what is most important.

Travel back in time to the 1640s. The Westminster Confession of Faith was a doctrinal statement considered by many to be the best statement of systematic theology ever framed by the Christian church, but certainly subordinate to the Bible. It contains questions and answers concerning God as Creator, original sin and man’s fallen nature, Christ the Redeemer, etc. The first and most famous of the questions asks, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer? “To glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” The basic idea is: how can we value anything other than that which is supremely valuable? In this case, God Himself.

Fast forward to 1980. Some might be familiar with the true-life story of coach Herb Brooks of the  U.S. Olympic Hockey team. Coach Brooks had the difficult task of any coach: trying to unify a group of athletes so that they are able to compete at the highest level possible. The movie Miracle (great family movie) portrays how Coach Brooks addressed the issue of why we play and for whom. During one of the grueling practices, Coach Brooks repeatedly asks the question, “Who do you play for?” In response, each athlete names their personal college. The grueling conditioning continues until finally one of the players yells out: “I play for the United states of America!” and finally the running stops. Parents, this is a critical question for our sons: “Who do you play for?” It’s also a critical question for us: “Who do we live for?” We all must answer this fundamental question in life.

Travel back again two thousand years. Jesus was asked a similar question: “Who should we “play” for? What is the chief end of man? For whom should we live?” His answer? “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27).

Parents, how would our son(s) answer these most important questions – not just with their words, but with their hearts? This is one of the primary reasons the first and foremost declaration of the Cedar Park basketball program is a resounding: “For Him! It serves as a constant reminder to answer the question: “Who do you play for, and why?” As parents, we are the most important “coach” in our son’s lives. God has given us the great privilege and responsibility to coach their hearts toward Him. As we move into this new year, may we continue to encourage our sons toward glorifying God with all of their heart, soul, strength, and mind as they play this wonderful game of basketball.