Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Devil's Playground: Sunday Volleyball

There are few sports you can play that will bring you together as a team. Where before you have been enemies, when you play volleyball, you become the best of friends. Now in most circumstances this would be true, but not when you play after church on Sunday. No, after church on Sunday, there is a certain wildness about you that is begging to be released. And you don't care if it requires hitting a small boy in the face with the ball (Chris), yelling at your wife for missing a ball (numerous husbands of which mine was not because he's smarter than that), or telling your husband to back off because you can hit the ball without his help, thank you very much (me).

Perhaps it is the pastor's sermon that sparks such animosity after the service. Maybe his teaching hit a tad too close to home and you don't wish to give up 24 hours of television to spend a little quiet time with God. Maybe he taught on loving your wife and spending quality time with her and you sit there fuming because quality time to your husband is letting you watch him mow the lawn. I don't know what does it, all I know is that church volleyball is a live or let die kind of sport. And mostly, if you miss the ball, people wish you would die.
In addition to the animosity that flares up, there is always that person who takes the game a bit too seriously (this person is usually the one with knee pads, tall socks, and face paint), and if you screw up he isn't going to speak to you next Sunday. True colors begin to bleed through. There are those people that are meek little mouses, worshipping God, soaking in the sermon during the service, and then they walk out on the sand to play and suddenly they are homicidal maniacs bent on revenge.

There are also a precious few that are bad losers and because they are around fellow church goers, have to keep from a) cursing, b) punching that man in the face because he just missed the 4th ball in a row and c) slamming or throwing either the ball, a rock or some other heavy object because you lost (this one is usually me, I ruined quite a few racquets when I played racquetball by slamming them into the wall when I lost). All of this destructive energy has to be contained when with fellow parishioners.

Long standing feuds can begin with just three simple words: "Let's play volleyball." The following week, the pastor is forced to preach on forgiveness or mercy in order to reestablish community and loving kindness within his flock. He (or she) cannot allow volleyball to occur too often after church and must find other diversions such as demoloshing the sanctuary and rebuilding it one Sunday afternoon or repaving the 5 acre parking lot.

You can learn many wonderful life lessons from this sport, some that the pastor will probably never preach from the pulpit. I've learned to keep my friends close and my enemies can't be too careful in life.


Anonymous said...


it's funny because it's true.


love you guys

Anonymous said...

can i please read this on Sunday?

Chris & Jane said...

Sure, Bryan. We're leaving for Chicago tomorrow and will be gone a away. Just don't wait until I'm back. : )