Recently, I watched the MTV show chronicling a season with the Lake Stevens High School wrestling department. I was amazed at the rigors these young men go through every season. I recalled during my youth pastor years, hearing stories of the demands of the coaches, the constant weight loss issues, and the training. At several times, I felt at odds with the demands of coaches, as I sought to train young people for a different kind of glory. I know that there are great lessons to be learned from athletics. And I am not against athletics, I enjoy a variety of sports.
The Apostle Paul uses athletics on a few occasions to teach spiritual lessons -I get that, it cultural.
At several points during the show, however, I have to say, I was shocked with the extreme pressure that the coaches put on their wrestlers. There were scenes of them screaming at them, manipulating them, and pushing them to the brink physically and emotionally. I wondered at the priorities of our educational system, during such vital and formative years in a young persons life. I understand that it takes commitment and hard work to have a winning team, and LSHS certainly has been that. But what is the cost, and what is the result? Am I missing something?
I wish I lived in a world where a pastor could press a young man for the kingdom of God the way a coach presses him for the glory of sport.