As Christians, we tend to compartmentalize aspects of our lives. Going to church, reading the Bible, and praying are all “spiritual” things while the day-to-day activities we engage in like work, sports, meals, etc. are “secular.” No matter how long you’ve been a Christian, I suspect you struggle with compartmentalization. God wants us to have a more holistic view though. We know this from 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
This is a significant part of Cede Sports’ ministry–helping churches embrace sports as a way to glorify God and not compartmentalize them.
This is why I love quotes like this from Jared Wilson’s book, Gospel Wakefulness:
One of the attendant aims of missional evangelicalism is to challenge the compartmentalizing of the Christian faith that we see within the Western church. We are fantastic at itemizing our schedules, and even if we don’t assign God a very large bracket, we are constantly remorseful that we “haven’t made much time for him.” While such compartmentalizing — as if “time with God” can or should be hermetically sealed off from everything else — is a natural symptom of our culture and environment, it also reflects a bad theology.
The truth is, the day does not belong to us. It is not our day to do with as we please. We serve a sovereign God. He created the end from the beginning, knows our future exhaustively, and is firmly in control. He made our days and they belong to him. As such, isn’t it a bit arrogant to begin with the idea that each day is ours and then worry about fitting God in? Instead, we should work at the humble awe of knowing all of our moments, every millisecond, waking or sleeping, are perfectly accounted for within the economy of heaven.
Let us stake the flag of Christ’s kingdom into the soil of our first waking moment. Drink your coffee when you get up, of course, but drink it to the glory of God. Then carry on in this way all day, no matter the task, be it menial or notable, so that each day may be a living prayer that God’s will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is what it means to live a gospel-saturated life: it means being so conscious of the greatness of the gospel that changing diapers or cutting the grass is as much an act of worship as singing a praise chorus in a church service….
Now let’s apply that to sports. To paraphrase Wilson – “This is what it means to live gospel-saturated sports– it means being so conscious of the greatness of the gospel that playing sports are as much an act of worship as singing a praise chorus in a church service.” Think for a moment. “Is that the way you view your sports? Do you really believe and live out this idea that your sports are for God and an act of worship or do you slip back into the mindset, that I often do, that your sports are just for you?”
Back to Wilson –
Jesus Christ is Lord over my heart, and he is Lord over my hands, and he is Lord over what I do with these hands, and he is Lord over what I say in my heart while I’m doing it. In submitting to the lordship of Christ, then, I do not treat washing dishes (or playing sports – my addition) as wasting time I could be spending doing something “meaningful,” but rather as a service to those who eat in my home (or those I play with – my addition) … and as an offering of thanksgiving to God that I have food to eat, dishes to eat it on, and running water inside my home to clean with (as well as places to play, a body to play with, teammates and opponents to play with – my addition).
Do you get the picture? This is gospel-saturated, gospel-centered sports. Nothing short of this vision is what is needed for the redemption of the broken sports so prevalent today.