"Stay in your lane"
A phrase that offends the thin skinned, regrettably popularized by a loudmouth who makes the Donald seem rational and matches the presidents egomania. But I think can be a good rule of thumb, at times...possibly often.
As far this website goes, and my operation of it, the lane is sports. Every person has a specific worldview, values, desires, dreams that shape how they see things. I'm no different and I imagine that many times my specific set comes through. Some times I try to block, other times I try to let all the good (or bad) come out. For example, Keenum to Diggs, touchdown was one time when I did all I could to capture how great it was.
But that's still sports. The lane. But there are things that matter more than sports. Namely, Jesus.
Call me a Bible thumper. Call me a Jesus Freak. Call me a Christian. I just want to follow Jesus according to the Bible.
When the lanes of sport and Faith cross I won't shy away from. On the contrary, I'd like to have more of that sort since so few are willing to promote it and most want to stifle the Gospel. It may cost me opportunities and limit those who will read and listen but I'd rather stand with the Savior and live.
But now to the point, an opportunity where the two lanes merged took place Sunday afternoon when the SENDFCA had a "dessert celebration."
That's quite an acronym so for those who don't know how to decipher it (probably most people), SENDFCA stands for South Eastern North Dakota Fellowship of Christian Athletes. During high school I heard about FCA as a great way for likeminded athletes to get together. The tweets that I saw about it and the radio interview that I heard on Saturday gave hints that it would be a sharing time by people involved with it but did not list many specifics. A couple current NDSU athletes share about their experiences with a mix of former players and even an area high school Football coach who spoke about the impact of learning their three level coaching method.
To be clear, the coach wasn't talking about using his position to evangelize. It was about learning how to be the best role model and leader for his young men that he could.
I had always considered FCA a Bible study for high school athletes. And that is an element of it, but I was surprised to hear about the impact that it is making on the college campuses. Their reach goes beyond just time on campuses, it also includes retreats & camps for the three Fargo Moorhead colleges and internship opportunities to aid the cultivation of new leadership so that they can have a presence on all the 53 high schools in this region. For the athletes at NDSU there are designated times to meet, study the Bible and build relationships with one another. In keeping with the sports theme they call them huddles and it is through those that more than sixty athletes from 12 of the teams have come into better relationships with each other but also with Jesus. As I said, a couple of the current athletes shared about their experiences, as did four former Football players. There was no secrecy about it so maybe I could include their names but since I don't know all the rules that govern the current players I'm going to abstain from including them, for anyone who may be wondering about those specific details.
But each of the stories that were shared showed that good work is being done on the campuses, within the lives of so many of the local celebrities. They're choosing a better path for their lives and I was glad to hear about it.
As is so often the case at organized events such as this one, there was mention of funding and donations. Of the 53 high schools in their focus area, 24 have active huddle groups. It's a good number but also represents less than half of the schools in the region. So donations would go towards that and in connection would help them continue to train students as interns who could become leaders in the future. And then in the more nuts and bolts of it, the money that was given would go towards Bibles, retreats & prayer breakfasts, training of coaches and eventually for more staff.
With as much time and money as I've invested into being a sports fan it only made sense to me to support something that has real value. And real support is active. Think...NDSU tailgating in December. Sure people may have their ulterior motives for hitting the lot but the roots of it and a main motivation for it come from a desire to back the team. Active support. So I'm taking the time to do something that I know could set me back in terms of future opportunities to make money as a blogger, writer and sports fan but as I already said, I stand with Jesus first.
If you feel the same way and want to support an organization that is helping to make a difference in the lives of athletes in high schools and colleges in our area you can text 920-224-3335 and give online. To be crystal clear, I am not affiliated with FCA in any way, I just appreciated the messages too much to walk out the door and not take the opportunity to shine a light on an organization that blends Faith & sports in an effort to shine the light of Jesus where they are.