By Ana Borden
Baseball. It’s quite possibly my favorite summer pastime, especially when our oldest son finds so much joy playing the game.
Last year, when I caught him smiling to himself and asked him why, his response was, “Baseball, Mommy, baseball.”
I enjoy seeing him learn the strategy and technique behind the game and, most importantly, working as part of a team, gaining the sportsmanship and showing respect towards his fellow teammates, coaches and opponents that, hopefully, is a skill he carries for the rest of his life.
This past week, I was reflecting on his spark and joy playing and learning more about the game. His team was filled with talented players of various character strengths, yet, all were filled with the same youthful spirit, hope and eagerness that makes up a harmonious team.
Numerous games culminated in an ultimate defeat, but, regardless, at the end of the tournament, they demonstrated the value of sportsmanship to their winning opponent, as in baseball tradition, by slapping hands in line and saying, “Good game” or “Congratulations.”
As I reflected on this moment, I recall past experiences in team settings or working with a team member, acquaintance or scenario that entailed an “opponent.”
What if our opponent does not show respect, sportsmanship or makes questionable decisions? What if an opponent takes credit for your work, devalues your character or devalues your character?
I have learned with time that praying for our opponents is just as important as being a good team member and showing sportsmanship. It reminds me of the verse, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves” – Philippians 2:3.
How do you show good sportsmanship towards our opponents?