Honor Our Competition

Video / Produced by The High Calling

As we spend the week thinking about the High Calling of Sports, it's worth remembering that competition can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can encourage us to succeed. On the other, if taken too far it can encourage us to succeed at any cost.

The key to balancing this, I think, is respect. Usually a rival is a rival because he or she has similar goals and talents. There is often more common ground between rivals than between friends. Sounds like a good place to start.

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Two stock car drivers—Chris Ater and Dillon Smith—were archrivals. Their competition for the season-point-total lead climaxed in a car-bumping incident. It cost Ater the victory. Smith, his chief competitor, survived the bump and won the race.

The next time Ater and Smith met on the track, it was Smith's turn to spin out and severely damage his car. He doubted his crew could repair the car in time for the next race. But the first person in the pits to offer help? It was Smith's rival, Chris Ater.

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. A true champion is driven more by winning than by beating. He honors his competition as well as his own goal—in the high calling of our daily work.

It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to seek one's own honor.
(Prov. 25:27)