Even foes can be in unity when it comes to being grateful for a safe game and for the opportunity to compete and grow in their sport.
Soccer, as a game. has some great traditions. One of them is the introduction time before the match. Both team’s starting players line up on the sidelines in front of their respective benches. They follow the three game officials out to mid field where they pair off on either side of the officials. They are then individually announced, one team at a time. It is very formal and just the fact that it includes the officials is unique.
My daughter Claire plays soccer for a NCAA division 3, state school, the University of Wisconsin Superior Yellowjackets. They compete in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference which include several public and a few private universities. A couple weeks ago we watched as UWS took on North Central University, a private Christian school located in inner city Minneapolis.
As tradition with this school, the game started out with the customary march to mid field for the lineups. What they do at the end of every game is not so traditional. The North Central players circled up at mid field for a post game prayer. What’s cool about this is that they always invite any from the opposing team who wish to join them – win, lose or draw.
Arm in arm, these two teams, that just minutes before were fierce competitors, stood in unity as they prayed.
Not all participate, but all are welcome. This is consistent with the faith they proclaim as followers of Jesus and a wonderful example of how foes can unite.