Rev. Robert Kelly

I have competed well

Published Jul 14, 2018 at 4:00pm

Summer time is big time sports time. I’m not sure whether your favorite event is the boilermaker in Utica, or the Wimbledon tennis in England or the world cup soccer this year being played in Russia.

Of course the big difference is that some of us or someone we know will actually be competing at the boilermaker, whereas for the other events we will be watching from the sidelines or in our favorite lounge chair.

I am not a big fan of soccer having never played it as a kid. But I must say that I am taking in by all the energy and emotion that not only the players exhibit but also the fans too.

This is probably due to the fact that like the Olympics the world cup involves national teams. Unfortunately sometimes these emotions of the players and fans get carried away and result in violent clashes between opposing teams and fans. That’s too bad when it happens and certainly takes away from the beauty of the game and the efforts of the team.

On the upside soccer being a team sport is an exercise where and when we learn the best practice of teamwork that is so essential for building a society whether it be that of the church, school or community or the choir. The team work teaches us to work together for a successful outcome in the game or endeavor that is at hand.

Like the Olympics the world cup will bring together people of different races, colors and creeds to encounter each other in their sport. Such encounters help us all to appreciate differences in our world community yet at the same time the common human desire to compete, to work together to be successful and perhaps even to win. And if not win be a good loser.

I’m not sure if St Paul was an athlete of some kind perhaps a runner. In his letter to Timothy one of his companions on his missionary journeys he says toward the end of his life: “I have competed well; I have finished the race I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the lord, the just judge will award to me on that day...”

Whether we are athletes or not hopefully like St. Paul we can echo those same words in our lives, that we have used our God given talents for good during our journey here on earth. The rest is in the hands of God.

Rev. Robert Kelly