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Blessings at basketball tryouts

From the October 21, 2013 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

I have attended a Christian Science Sunday School since I was a little kid. Sunday School helps me in my life, and I love what I learn there. I have come to always rely on God to help me no matter what problem arises. I play football, basketball, and baseball, and love each of these sports. I’ve had some wonderful experiences with my teams, and I’ve found many opportunities to use my understanding of Christian Science and my relationship with God.

I had a nice experience in my high school basketball tryouts. Basketball is a sport I’ve always excelled in, and I have been on very competitive teams. When I came to high school, I felt a little nervous about the tryouts because the coaches didn’t know me as well, and I felt the need to impress them. I played hard, but the first day of tryouts my shot was off and I was struggling. I kept working hard and giving it my best, excelling in some areas but still having no success shooting the ball. When I got home that night, I was upset and feeling frustrated. I decided to pray with some of the things I’d learned in Sunday School.

I knew that all my ability came from God.

Part of what I examined was the idea of my relying on just my own human abilities, versus putting my faith in God and letting Him take control. A verse from the Bible I looked up was “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). I knew that I was God’s child and could express only good qualities in everything I did—this included accuracy, speed, agility, and mental focus. I knew that all my ability came from God.


Zaiah stays open for the pass.

— Courtesy photo

I also asked my aunt to pray with me for the remainder of the tryouts. She gave me some spiritual ideas to hold on to, including the idea that it was my divine right to demand only good, to notice that God’s goodness was with me and with everyone on the court. We looked at this statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “Spirit is symbolized by strength, presence, and power, and also by holy thoughts, winged with Love” (p. 512). I decided the next day that when things went well, I’d just mentally say, “Thank you, God.” And if there were moments when things were not going well, I would not give up or be discouraged.

The next few days of tryouts went well. My shot was much better than the first day, and I did end up making the team. Most important, though, I’m glad that I learned to turn to God instead of giving up.

Isaiah “Zaiah” Kent-Schneider is a junior in high school. In addition to sports, he is involved in leadership and academic clubs. In his free time, he likes to lift weights and hang out with friends.

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