I am pleased to announce…I’m a sporting tragic, a sportaholic even.
Anyone who knows me would not be picking themselves off the floor with this shock. The dawn of Kayo as an “all things sport” subscription service has changed my life.
Who wouldn’t want to watch the July 4th hot dog eating challenge live on ESPN?
What about the fierce rivalry between USA and Canada in dodgeball?
Yes, Belinda, I do want to watch the AFL Grand Final highlights (again) of the ’01, ’02, ’03 Brisbane Lions victories.
We put on alarms to get up in the middle of the night to watch every Socceroo game at a World Cup.
The TV goes on at the start of any Olympics (Summer AND Winter) and MUST stay on until bedtime.
Boxing Day is the Ashes cricket test on one TV, NBA Christmas day blockbusters on the other.
Years ago, I rearranged everything I could to make sure my sons and I stayed up to watch Usain Bolt in 2008, 2012, 2016, win the 100m finals at the Olympics. Yet I was flabbergasted at the number of mobile phones people had out to film him run.
You get to watch the fastest man alive run live, and you watch it through a mobile phone?
What about at concerts? I am so excited to take my sons to Midnight Oil’s last concert ever on the Sunshine Coast next year- do we take our phones and film it so we have it forever?
Seize the moment.
Another son graduates
My second son finished school this year. I love how he captures this essence with how he lives his life.
He arrived at his school formal this year in the school bus that bears his face on the side. What a moment to savor! I wasn’t quick enough to get the phone out. I just scrambled to a good vantage point and clicked and filmed away. I then put it down to watch him arrive and walk the red carpet with his date to the cheers of the crowd. It was a simple moment and the few little tears I had were from the sheer joy of the moment.
He went away for “Schoolies” to the Whitsundays. The event organized by Scripture Union was a drug and alcohol free event superbly run and managed by people only recently graduated themselves. Every day we waited for photos or words to let us know how he was going- nothing was forthcoming. We then realized, this “best week of my life” moment he had was his to enjoy. We eventually got the run down and photos of his 3 days on a yacht, snorkeling, cruising, walking on untouched sand and jet skiing round the Whitsundays- but it was HIS time.
He seized the moment.
Mystery Bus Tour 2021 style
Also, on the last Friday night of Grade 12 for the year, after my son’s formal (and amazing bus arrival), I was picked up on the highway by 55 Year 12 Graduates and 8 staff members for my school’s annual mystery overnight bus tour! Despite our best-laid plans, the ending of the trip became a mystery, even to the teachers and staff!
We started late with a different bus than what was originally booked. This got us to Game Over in Helensvale for indoor go-karting and playing laser tag. We then piled back onto the bus and ended up at Strike in Wintergarden, where pizza was plentiful, but there was bowling, putt-putt golf and karaoke calling our names.
After leaving Strike, the mystery bus tour took a truly mysterious turn. For starters, the air conditioning on the bus had stopped working. So, you can imagine the “atmosphere”. And then alarms began beeping and blaring. We took off with high hopes to hit Mt Cootha just after sunrise, but alas, it was not meant to be. We pulled over, not once, but twice on the side of busy Brisbane streets, to eventually discover this bus wasn't going anywhere fast (or slow). We piled the sleepy students off to a grassy patch on the side of the road, one teacher pulled some heroics and got all the gear out from under the bus while another two desperately tried to warn oncoming traffic of the broken-down bus.
Would you follow the directions of two blokes in the middle of the city waving down traffic at 5am in the morning?
After some time waiting on the side of the road, delivering the last lot of over $2000-$3000 worth of sponsored goods and vouchers, another bus was called, and we were saved!
We seized the moment.
Finding peace in dark or confusing times
You can only make sense of the world if we are just prepared sometimes to seize the moment.
My wife and I feel in these times of trying to seize the moment, God tells us just to:
Be patient. “…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love” (Ephesians chapter 4 verse 2).
Prepare. “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter Chapter 1 verse 13).
Wait. Not now. “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm chapter 27 verse 14).
Be passionate about the things that really matter. “…make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians chapter 2 verses 2-4).
Finally, we believe we can seize every moment that comes, enjoy the life we are blessed to have with the spheres of influence we are a part of.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…’ (Ephesians chapter 5 verses 15-16a).
Russell Modlin is in his 30th year as a Secondary English and Physical Education Teacher. He has taught in Mackay, Brisbane, Alice Springs and currently on the Sunshine Coast. He is married to Belinda (26 years) and they have three sons- 2 have finished High School, 1 to go!
Russell Modlin’s archive of previous article can be found atwww.pressserviceinternational.org/russell-modlin.html