A Christian Game

I’m going to have at least six groups of people mad at me today. But if you’re into sports or are only mildly aware that they exist, you’ll want to hear my thoughts on why there is really only one sport that is a Christian game.

Here are six sports that decidedly are not.

1. Hockey. I played ice hockey since the age of three, but hockey is not a sport. It is war. There are no winners in hockey, only survivors. I have broken bones playing this game (some of them my own). I still suffer memory loss from concussions. I also suffer memory loss.

2. Boxing. Technically anything that cannot be played with your close friends does not qualify as an actual sport. Unlike golf, you cannot discuss important issues while you are boxing, nor can you pick up your teeth while wearing a boxing glove.

3. Soccer. This is not a sport; it is a religion. Soccer fans are more violent than the players. The net is huge and the field too large. There are guys with poor eyesight on soccer pitches around the world, running in circles for hours after the game, faithfully playing their positions and yelling for the ball, unaware that the fans have gone home.

4. Javelin. Saul was the only Bible character to use the javelin. This was not a virtuous thing. (Read 1 Samuel 13-20.)

5. Wrestling. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. (See the Bible.)

6. Baseball. Nothing happens in baseball. There are center fielders who have fallen asleep during games and the sad thing is, no one noticed. Besides, you can take a player out if he’s having a bad game. Not in golf. In golf, you can’t jump from the train when you’re in a tunnel. Nor can you in the Christian life. In baseball, you can hit a home run over right, left, or center field. In golf, every shot must be straight over second base.

My son read my well-reasoned points and said, “But golf is boring to watch. It’s like watching paint dry.” I told him I would pray for him. I also told him that golf requires of its players integrity, self-control, faith, perseverance, and hope. I told him that the rules of golf reprimand cheating, chewing tobacco, coveting your friend’s clubs, or throwing your friend’s clubs. That golf is played in a garden where God intended us to be from the beginning. And that no other sport has the mulligan, that marvelous reminder that every single day should be a celebration of God’s amazing grace.

If you still don’t like golf, but wouldn’t mind playing 18 holes, I have an idea: Go out and buy a harmonica.

Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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