Summer is here again and so are our clinics!
There are many different parts of Kamp to fall in love with: the delicious coffee cake on Sunday morning, the crazy themed parties and all of the lifelong friendships that are made every year. In the midst of all of this, another aspect that we cherish and value greatly at Kanakuk is challenging ourselves in sports and activities. With 70 different activities to choose from, we could talk for days about our favorites, but today we want to dig a bit deeper and share the reason on why we value sports at Kanakuk!
At Kanakuk, we value relationships and our hope is that everyone at Kamp builds a lasting relationship with God and others. Sports are an awesome way to build relationships because they allow us to connect with everyone around us. The team component of athletics pushes individuals to communicate and interact with one another and learn the importance of communication while contributing to a team. Being part of the same team requires a certain level of trust and understanding among players, because no team will succeed if every member isn’t working together. At Kanakuk, we want our Kampers to interact and form friendships with everyone around them and sports have a way of bringing people together as they rally toward a common goal - all while having fun!
When we play games, we are also faced with the opportunity to show our competitive spirit and embody good sportsmanship. Whether we win or lose, we are called to give the glory to God, for He is the reason we have the ability to enjoy life, including sports. Participating in sports also gives Kampers the opportunity to shine the light of Jesus before, during and after every game. Whenever there is a time that we find ourselves on the losing side of a competition, we have the opportunity to reflect Christ by practicing humility.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul uses physical competition as a symbol for our walk with the Lord: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
In this passage, Paul is sharing the message that Christians should approach living for Christ with the same mindset that is used to play sports, but encourages us to realize that the reward for our discipline is eternal. He acknowledges that being a faithful Christian requires endurance and self-discipline. Unlike any earthly game or competition, those on Christ’s home team are guaranteed to win the ultimate prize – eternity in Heaven! When we are abiding in Christ’s love, we understand that this is the best reward we could ever receive! It is a good thing to work hard and strive for excellence in all that we do. Trophies, medals and awards are great incentives to encourage us to push forward, but those rewards will never compare to the crown promised as faithful followers of Christ.
When it comes to physicality, we know that playing sports builds endurance that keeps our bodies and minds strong. With strength in Christ, we are able to fight off sin that tries so hard to hold us back as we run the “race” that God has planned for our lives. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
As we run through life, there will be hurdles to overcome and obstacles to face. The only way to overcome these trials is by putting full faith in God and trusting Him to provide us with everything we need. We look to the hopeful words of Isaiah 40:31 as we continue on in life’s race: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Let’s continue to “run the good run and fight the good fight!” 2 Timothy 4:7