Homeless World Cup

I just finished watching a documentary about the Homeless World Cup. Every year, homeless men and women from Ireland, Kenya, Russia, France, the United States, and many other countries gather together to play soccer. To win. To make friends. To escape the clutches of poverty and drugs.

I heard a particular phrase repeated again and again throughout the documentary. It went something like this:

Soccer helps me forget my problems for a while. When I’m out on the field, I forget about my terrible life.

The more I watched and listened, the more I realized, God is so kind to give us recreation.

Soccer allowed these people to put aside their ghosts for a few short hours. The sweat, slide tackles, and body-to-body collisions eclipsed the spectre of heroin and homelessness. A bit of joy snuck into their lives through a soccer ball.

In a small way, I can relate to the homeless ballers. There are certain times when I need to rest my mind. To stop rehashing the problems of my day. Sports help me rest. So do books and movies.

When I pick up my book, I’m meeting the grace of God. In rest. In forgetting.

What about you? Are there certain activities that help you “rest” your mind?

+photo by Brit.

  • David

    Music. . A dimly lit room and a great piece of music lets me sink into it and rest my mind. Good music can transport me, refresh me, elevate me and lift my mood.

    I do need to be careful, however, as it is easy for me to slip into melencholy if I choose the wrong stuff. Especially if I am tired since I am emotionally vulnerable at that time anyway.

  • http://www.pollywogcreek.blogspot.com Patricia (Pollywog Creek)

    Wow, did this really bless me today. I’ve been feeling a bit guilty lately about my photography hobby – it’s not the one thing (if there is just one thing) that God has called me to do, but it is clearly a tool God has used to help me focus, and it seems to also be a blessing to my readers.

    This sentence went straight to my heart….”When I pick up my book, I’m meeting the grace of God. In rest. In forgetting.”

    When I pick up my camera and go for walk around Pollywog Creek, I’m meeting the grace of God.

    Thank you, Stephen.

  • Keri

    I agree with David…sometimes I just need to sit down and play something at the piano, focus on the notes and repetition, and enjoy playing something I know really well or working hard on something I’d like to know well. It’s a way that my mind is freed to think through things too as my fingers do the work. I love going to work too, because I work with wonderful people who love Jesus. I don’t have to think about all the complicated stuff I leave at home some days while I’m there.

  • http://www.isaiah48.blogspot.com Kim

    Sitting in the backyard, swinging…helps if I’m holding hands with my husband, or stroking a daughter’s hair…long sighs, deep contentment…rest.

  • Tom

    Here in Plymouth, England, there is a place called The Hoe – an historic water-front area, mainly known by the patch of grass, with an old lighthouse where Francis Drake was said to have been playing bowls as the Armada came over to attack…. also nearby is the Mayflower Steps where the “Pilgrim Fathers” left to head to America. There is an incredible view out across the ocean.

    There is also an historic citadel is nearby, a local Country Park which protrudes as a headland into the water, and with some incredible views of Dartmoor National Park also nearby, it’s a beautiful place to be. (As a geography graduate, who loves to admire what God has made, I feel very blessed!)

    Just going to these places has brought me to tears before – just seeing the grandness and greatness of God, by looking at what He has made. The wide, massive ocean reminds me of God’s ‘big-ness’, the Citadel always makes me think of the Psalms “God is my fortress…He cannot be shaken…etc”.

    God has often spoken to me while just walking around these areas, that with all His grandness and greatness, there is grace – He loves us so much He gave Jesus to die for us! even though we are small and insignificant compared to Him!

    These are definitely my places of recreation – if anyone ever visits England, I’d say a visit to Plymouth/Dartmoor and the Devon and Cornwall area is a must! ;-)
    (shameless plug – sorry!)

  • Stephen Altrogge

    David – I can relate to both the joy and the temptations of music. I find both in music myself.

    Patricia – So glad you were blessed by the post. Photos truly are a gift from God and a wonderful way to bless others.

    Keri – That’s so great that you love going to work. What a blessing to be able to say that when so many people dislike their jobs.

    Kim – Backyard + family = always awesome.

    Tom – You make me want to come to England!