Everyone knows my passion for gymnastics, and it is a sport that you have to be passionate about to truly understand it. It definitely has a terminology all of its own, and is different than the more popular sports like basketball, hockey, baseball and such.
I know my daughter will run in the house after a successful practice and announce with pride, “Dad! Dad! I did my backhand back layout step-out on the high beam today!” He will congratulate her with open arms and play along like he knows what she is talking about, and then I come to his rescue and show him a video. If it wasn’t for the daily video explanation, he wouldn’t have a clue of the skill she is performing because the terminology is like Greek to him.
Some days she will come home from her four hour practice and he’ll ask her how practice was and if she stuck her triple sow-cow, knowing that it isn’t a gymnastics skill, but it is a word that he is familiar with from figure skating.
Much the same happens to me when I go and watch my son play basketball. I have no idea what “block-out” means. He will be running up the court with the ball yelling out different code words that his coach has trained him to say to set up certain plays, but it is all just gibberish to me.
Isn’t that the same with our society today and religion? For some reason it has people uncomfortable. There are so many people now-a-days that don’t believe in God, or that are uneducated in his word. We also have the extremist that take every word in the bible as truth, and might not understand the symbolism that is deeper than the actual words. Honestly, nobody is going to rip out their eyes, as the bible recommends, but this is much like some of the more complicated sports.
First of all, you have those that hate sports and don’t understand them, or the benefits of sports. Much the same as those who don’t understand God, and don’t believe that there is life after death, that we all came from evolution. Those scientific minded people who think they have all the proof they need on how the earth was made, and what has happened to get us to where we are today. They are so closed minded that they don’t see that maybe there is value to be learned from the Bible, realizing there is deep underlying meaning to God’s word and that there really is life after death.
Then there are some that enjoy sports but don’t quite understand the depth of them, because they are only familiar with the more popular sports. We find this in gymnastics all the time, because gymnastics runs based on skill level and not age level, it is difficult for parents to understand. We place gymnasts in their categories based on their skill ability and not their age. Sure, age makes a difference, because like any sport a year of development can increase the level of ability, but we could have a 10 year old and a 14 year old with the same skill level, however that 10 year old probably is the athlete with the most gymnastics ability. Just like in our spirituality, we might read the bible, but not totally understand it, or don’t understand its true potential. Maybe we read the bible, but don’t stop and listen to what it is telling us. We have to take the time and meditate on the words we read, because the meaning is much deeper than the words.
Another thing is that with gymnastics, parents don’t usually understand the progression of the sport. They don’t understand that one skill has to be taught before a child can successfully perform another skill, and each harder skill requires more strength and flexibility to achieve it. Skills are linked together and progress as the gymnasts strengthens and becomes spatial aware of where they are. The same goes with God’s word. We have to progress on our spiritual journey and nothing other people do or say can speed up this journey for another person. The person has to learn through what God puts in their path, and the trials they are faced within their own life experiences. I know if someone told me three years ago that I’d be writing a spiritual blog every day, I would think they are crazy, but due to different situations in my life that I’ve been through, my spiritual growth happened. I progressed and transformed over the last year and a half spiritually. Looking back to what my daily routine was a year and a half ago, to what it is now, there is a tremendous difference. I see things differently now, and the Bible really speaks to me and comes alive, but when I started reading the Bible daily, this wasn’t the case.
In 2 Peter 3:18, it is said, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” We are all growing in our spiritual growth, just like my daughter is growing her sporting career of gymnastics. She falls many times in the run of a night, but learns from every fall, and she has coaches there to tell her what she is doing wrong. Just like in life, we will have our falls and trial, but the Bible is there to pick us up and coach us to our spiritual maturity.
As I’m venturing on my spiritual journey I’m understanding that we are all spiritual, even those who say they don’t believe, but everyone has to grow in their own time. Just like explaining gymnastics to the parents of my gymnasts I coach, it is like Greek, and very hard to understand. But, please trust me! If you pay attention to the terminology, and the progressions, strengthen yourself in faith and trust in your coach, we can all become champions of God!