Merry Christmas and end-of-year musings

Have you ever wondered how many total hours that grade school, high school, and college student-athletes practice their respective sports in a given year in Marion County?

The answer? I have no idea, but it must be in the thousands or tens of thousands of hours, right?

Sports are a significant part of our lives. Athletes, and coaches for that matter, enjoy the challenges associated with competition. Fans enjoy cheering their teams on. One of the many positives of sports is how it can help bring communities together.

We probably overlook how much time is spent in preparation before the season begins, in addition to how much time athletes spend working out in the off-season. Their dedication is remarkable.

In the end, of course, most teams win some and lose some. The talent level varies every year. But win or lose, I’d like to think that most student-athletes are glad to have the opportunity to compete.

Speaking of competing, Hillsboro High School has been blessed with a lot of good athletes and successful teams in recent years. There are signs as you enter town from the north and south that welcome people to Hillsboro – Home of Champions.

Under the heading is a list of HHS teams by year that have won a state championship. When the sign is updated to include the recent state volleyball championship, it looks to me like there will only be room for two more state titles before the current sign will be full. That’s a nice problem to have, I suppose.

Meanwhile, Christmas is just days away. For me, this season is really a time of thanksgiving. Let’s be honest, not everything goes the way I prefer, like the five kidney stones I had removed earlier this year. Life, like sports, has its ups and downs. Still, I’m thankful for doctors with the necessary skill to help alleviate pain and suffering.

So it’s always good to take time to count our blessings. It helps keep life in perspective.

Some of you probably have had bigger challenges than dealing with kidney stones, which is hardly a picnic, by the way. For some, it could be broken relationships, or experiencing the loss of life of a friend or loved one, and a variety of other physical or emotional disappointments. And yet, everyone, and especially those who know Christ, have so much to be thankful for.

There’s a song called “For All He’s Done,” by the gospel group Greater Vision, that I’d like to share with you this Christmas season. You can listen to the song on YouTube. The song is a great reminder that no matter our circumstances, if we know Christ, we have reason enough to be thankful.

Here are the lyrics to “For All He’s Done.”

Every morning when I wake to see the sun,
I can’t help but think about the Lord
And all the things He’s done.
He meets my every need,
You know He’s been so good to me.
And I can’t help but praise the Lord for all He’s done.

For all He’s done,
I’m gonna lift my hands and praise Him.
For all He’s done,
I’ll try to live my life to please Him.

Even though I don’t deserve to live,
My life has just begun,
And I can’t help but praise the Lord for all He’s done.
There are many things that I could praise God for.
And if I started now, until I die,
There’d still be many more.

If I could mention only one,
I’d have to thank Him for His Son,
Now that’s enough to praise the Lord for all He’s done.
For all He’s done,
I’m gonna lift my hands and praise Him.

For all He’s done,
I’ll try to live my life to please Him.
Even though I don’t deserve to live,
My life has just begun,
And I can’t help but praise the Lord for all He’s done.

Thank you for reading this column, whether or not you agree with me. May you experience the joy of the season as you celebrate with family and friends.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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