The Monday feature of the Worldly Saints blog focuses on a story from the sports world – current or historic. The point is to recognize athletes who are using their sports and athletic abilities to further the kingdom of God or to show how some athletes or teams are wasting their days by not giving God the glory.
Even if you didn’t watch the Women’s World Cup Final where the USA defeated Japan 5-2, you probably heard that the US women scored 4 goals in the first 15 minutes.
That 3rd goal was scored by a young lady named Lauren Holiday, who is a former UCLA Bruin, and now retired international player.
Regardless of what you think about women’s soccer or this particular came, Holiday is worth mentioning – not because of her earned soccer “glory” but because she finds pleasure in Someone and something greater than soccer.
Here are her own words:
“Success is being the best soccer player I can be. The wonderful, wonderful thing about loving Jesus is, it’s not about me. And the spotlight isn’t on me. So when I do step out on the field, I get to play with freedom because I don’t have to worry about if I score or what happens if we lose or if I make a bad pass, because success isn’t determined on that with Christ. …
“I went to some youth camps and that’s where I started to discover the presence of God. I was able to experience God through the singing and by talking to other girls that had similar experiences. That opened my eyes but I still had to seek out that relationship. …
“Since I was a little girl, I always wanted to play soccer at the highest level. I love the competition. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I think my goal every time I step on the field when people watch me play is that they see joy. I’m having fun, and I’m playing the game that God gave me talent to play.”
What a helpful and encouraging collection of thoughts from a world-class athlete like Holiday.
And we have found yet another example of an athlete who is not wasting her sports.