As any good coach will do to his players, I have some words of encouragement. First, stay strong…for any athlete it is in the “off season” where we develop the strength we need to fulfill our responsibilities on the fields of play. Likewise, we must continue to strengthen ourselves weekly with our brotherhood, prayer life, accountability, and yes, our physical exercises too. As St. Thomas Aquinas taught, “grace builds upon nature.” You are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and your body needs to be disciplined as St. Paul exhorts so my Memorial Day Sports Weekend challenge to you each is as follows:
1. Get out and do something physical this weekend i.e. for rural living guys suggest doing some gardening, taking a long hike, chop some wood and build a fire, climb a small mountain, swim in a lake, and/or shoot some basketball. For the urban guys, take a bike ride, walk across town, visit/walk to some churches to spend some time with Jesus, shoot some hoops, or climb some steps! Of course, if you like to run, then break a sweat and challenge yourself–redemptive running!
2. Eat well, but also spiritually sustain yourself by giving thanks to God for your body (no matter the shape). Give thanks to God for your manhood. Jesus, made you a man, even if you don’t feel like one. Your manhood is your great gift! As you grow in your manhood, you will grow in your holiness. Authentic manhood of course I am speaking! False manhood is what the world presents. Contrary to opinion, having huge muscles and athletic abilities is not what it means to be a man.
A True Man is kind and gentle. In his gentleness lies great strength. “Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength” – Ralph Sockman
Being gentle does not mean a milk toast disposition or temperament.
A True Man is humble. As we say at sports camp, “Humble in victory. Gracious in defeat.” The greatest virtue is humility so say the saints.
A True Man is aware of his own weaknesses. He must lead with his weaknesses at times, yet maintains the wisdom of when to share and with whom to share.
A True Man is courageous. This is not the bravery of a soldier per say, but the fortitude that the Spirit provides to step out in faith, proclaim the Gospel and call a spade a spade.
This True Man lies in each one of us, if we but allow ourselves to let go of our past, forgive ourselves and others, and move forward in the knowledge that each of our a beloved son of God and a member of His Kingdom family.
God bless and I am read to play/coach!
Written By Mark Houck – The Founder of The Kings Men