Last week I had the priverledge of going on an excursion to watch a group of Year 11 and 12 students play a round robin beach volleyball competition. Normally our school competes in only ‘Christian’ Competitions and only against ‘Christian Schools’, this one was not one of those competitions. The competition was open to any school that wanted to compete and although the schools that were represented were some of the better/more presegious schools, they were not part of the group that have ‘Christian Character’ as its sole focus and core value. It could be said that we were there representing the Christians.
No I’m not sure if you have ever seen a ‘Christian’ team play sport but the term ‘White Line Fever’ is never too far away. Well the teams that I took on that excursion were definitely not helping us to lose this ‘White Line Fever’ tag. In fact I as the day went on I’m pretty sure there were some groups that we took that would have been the worst there in terms of sportsmanship. Ragging on other teammates, yelling at each other, heckling other teams, picking on the abnormally large year 9 student from Wesley College, etc. I was so disappointed.
It the old analogy of ‘big fish in a little pond becoming a little fish in a massive pond’. We have plucked this kids out of the ‘Christian schools’ world and put them in the ‘real schools’ world and they failed dismally in holding onto the values that the school has tried to instill.
Jesus calls us to be ‘in the world but not of the world’.
‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ Romans12:2 NIV
They unfortunately conformed.
I think that at times it is just to easy to fit in and be like others that we find ourselves with what we think is a ‘free pass’ from Christian values and often take it too far because we know that as soon as the sporting match is over we will be expected to put back on the ‘robes of righteousness’ and be perfect again. It is a real shame that sport and excersize that God designed as a joy and nescessity in life has become the ‘free pass zone’. Is white line fever acceptable?
On the up side I did have a good chat to a lady with one of the other schools sporting teams about my faith in Christ and the reason I do what I do, she seemed genuenly interested so it wasn’t a complete lose on the faith front. We also came second in a number of events so that was good on a competitive level for a school that normally doesn’t verse the ‘Big Boys’ of school sport. I loved being there and interacting with our students and teachers from others schools but I just can’t help the feeling that a opportunity to build God’s kingdom was lost that day.