Men Greatness Lies With Your Chest

October 30, 2013 by  
Filed under B2P Hot Stove

Using sports as a metaphor for the spiritual life. Why not?  Now we can take this to the level of absurdity when a goal, home run, and every basket made is a special grace filled moment. God is anointing his favorite athletes each time he or she produces goals, runs or points. Lest not we forget those chosen ones who are defensive minded who prefer a save, diving catch or taking the charge.

Let’s get real. Those of us who played youth sports and cried when we struck out with the bases loaded, fumbled a ball, or air balled a shot were consoled by our coaches words: “Keep your head up”  “Try harder next time” or “Here’s some Bazooka kid.”  We were taught some redemptive lesson in the midst of our own self pity. If you were not afforded this type of coaching don’t fret you learned the virtue of philomathy –a lover of learning- in this case what not to do if you ever coach.

Although most coaches don’t have a degree in theology, a teaching moment on the field of play can turn into a profound theological lesson in the understanding of virtue and vice.

There’s a virtue called MAGNANIMITY defined as being of great mind and heart. On the athletic landscape this can take root by being selfless, noble of spirit and pursuing excellence. The best teammates exhibits these qualities and while empirical in nature a player and/or coach knows who reflects these habits of doing good.

C.S Lewis, in his book The Abolition of Man, refers to the chest of man as the seat of magnanimity. Lewis asserts that in his day, the denial of the eternal had led to “Men Without Chests”.

Perhaps if Lewis wrote a piece for say ESPN The Mag, on this topic, he would include an admonishment to all athletes that they’re to direct their talents to the giver of them and if they don’t it becomes an exercise in futility.

Oh! One last thing for those of you who keep an eternal perspective not only are you on the path of righteousness but deserve the moniker “Men With Chests”.

Ron Meyer is the  Creator and Host of Blessed2Play a 30 min weekly radio program that uncovers the role that faith plays in the lives of athletes and sports professionals from around the country.