Music and the Spoken Word

Life Lessons and Sports - Sunday, November 3, 2019

Most sports fans love to follow the scores and stats, the wins and losses. But if sports were only about numbers and rankings, they probably wouldn’t fascinate us the way they do. No, behind the scores and jerseys are people we come to care about and inspirational stories that teach us important life lessons.

We see some athletes who are clearly gifted and seem to have advantages from the start. We see others who aren’t the strongest or fastest but who excel because of their will, tenacity, and hard work. And we always love stories of athletes who are resilient, who fail but then bounce back, and who overcome difficulties. We marvel at their inner strength and mental focus.

Among sports’ life lessons are that perseverance, hard work, and commitment win the day, no matter the final score. In the end, our most satisfying victories come on the days when the odds were against us but we simply refused to give up until the final whistle blew.

A young man gives his heart and all his effort to the goal of winning a state football championship but loses in the playoffs. A gifted tennis player dreams of playing professionally but gets cut from her college team. A promising runner gets injured the day before an important race. All these (and many more) are learning that sometimes the final score doesn’t accurately reflect life’s most meaningful, most satisfying victories.

In the game of life, we may not be competing in a sports arena with thousands of spectators, but we do compete every day. In every heart, idleness, pride, and pessimism face off against determination, selflessness, and hope. Will we keep going even when the scoreboard may show we’re falling behind?

Whether or not we have a favorite team to cheer for, we can find inspiring lessons in the examples of dedicated athletes who never stop competing, no matter the odds. We learn that people progress and achieve—win, if you will—at their own pace. We learn that the most important play is not the most recent one but the one that’s coming up. And we learn that in the end, our effort and perseverance are more important than the final score.
Nov. 3, 2019
Broadcast Number 4,703

The Tabernacle Choir
and Orchestra at Temple Square

Mack Wilberg

Richard Elliott

Lloyd Newell

When in Our Music God is Glorified
English melody; arr. Emily Crocker

Look to the Day
John Rutter

Presto, from Concerto in F, op. 4, no. 5
George Frideric Handel

Consider the Lilies of the Field
Roger Hoffman; arr. A Laurence Lyon

I’ll Fly Away
Albert Brumley; arr. Sam Cardon

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
African-American Spiritual; arr. Mack Wilberg