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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Good Sport? Not me!



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When I was in high school, I spent most of the Sabbath sermon time daydreaming about that night's game or about how good my newly purchased gym shoes would look.
 
After the benediction I would proceed to “round up the fellas” and make sure everyone had a ride for that evening’s social at the church gym. What were the sermon's about? Who knows! I was worried about basketball—that’s what was important!
 
Oh, boy . . . look out when Saturday night hit. It was finally time to “hoop,” and I wasn’t messing around. On Saturday night good ol’ What’s-his-name became the enemy—the opponent, who had to be defeated at all costs. There was no room for mistakes or good humor, and least of all, sportsmanship. All opponents must be defeated. I must win!
 
To look at him, you wouldn’t think he’d be much of an opponent. Brother Morgan was five-feet-seven, stocky, and graying. He didn’t have the physique of a basketball player, nor a player’s wardrobe. But after 20 minutes on the court with him, you’d see why no one (willingly) gave him an inch defensively.
 
He’d jump in the air, kicking his legs back into an “L,” then turn and fire his two-handed jump shot from behind his head. Off the glass and into the hoop . . . it was automatic and devastating to his opponents—all of us.
 
But on top of that, he would then do the unthinkable—he would laugh heartily whenever he scored, or even whenever his shot was blocked. He actually had a good time on the court, winning or losing. How could he?
 
I was determined to show these other jovial “wash outs” what real basketball was about. I wasn’t going to act politely like I was having fun and enjoying the fellowship. After all, that’s what the church service was for.
 
Basketball was basketball, and there was no room for “enjoying” it and playing well at the same time.
 
Attitude adjustment
 
Well, many a Saturday night was spent playing my heart out, sweating, running, clawing, and, yes . . . losing. And what about Brother Morgan? Whether on my team or not, winning or losing, he was always having a good time, usually laughing and making everyone feel comfortable.
 
What was I missing? Why did I leave feeling slighted by life if I lost or like an emperor of the Ming dynasty if I won? Why did Brother Morgan seem to have so much fun every week, instead of just the weeks he won?
 
As I think back on those Saturday nights, I believe my attitude was to blame. Almost every time I went out, I went with the chant “Win! Win! Win! Win!” in my ears.
 
If our attitude and ultimate goal is wrong in whatever we’re doing, we usually don’t enjoy it. If we don’t have a healthy attitude about competition—doing as well as we can, instead of hoping someone does poorly—we’ll go around with a chip on our shoulder. Let’s face it, there’s always going to be someone better than us in everything we try. Once we think about these things, we tend to play life with a new attitude. 
 
Now I’ve figured out what caused me not to enjoy the game that I loved so much. I’ve secretly started to pray in my heart before any type of game, “Lord, help me to enjoy this game and the people participating in it, win or lose, and help me to remember to thank You for the blessings or praise that I might receive afterward. Oh, and thank You for Brother Morgan.”
 
 
This article originally appeared in the October 17, 1987, issue of Insight. Alvin Chea was a student at Oakwood University and served as an intern at Insight during the summer of 1987. He is a member of the gospel group Take 6, which has won 10 Grammy Awards and 10 Dove Awards and continues to tour worldwide.
 
 

 

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