Recently I had the privilege of sharing a brief devotion before a middle school aged volleyball game at our church. Here is the ‘semi-edited’ version.
What do the names James Naismith and William Morgan have in common? They both worked for the YMCA in the 1800s. Naismith created basketball and four years later, Morgan created Mintonette. Morgan thought basketball was too strenuous and fast paced for older Y members, so he created Mintonette.
He called it Mintonette, because the game had a similar shaped court and net as badminton. Only problem is it seemed like no one liked the name. Not long after the introduction of the sport a spectator commented on all the volleying that made up the game, so they decided to call it ‘volleyball.’ This game we play is 120 years old and it was created for old people! Keep that in mind, next time you watch it.
I Googled the following question: How many muscles are used to play volleyball? Just think how complicated it is to learn all the moves of the game – passing, setting, hitting, blocking and serving. How many muscles does it take? Answer – ALL of them! All 639 of them. No wonder you get tired and sometimes hurt – there are 639 possibilities! Makes you wonder whether the game was really made for old people.
The sweet psalmist of Israel wrote the following prayer regarding the amazing creation of God that enables you to walk, to run, to play volleyball. “I will praise thee: for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14 The makeup of the human body is the most complicated and curious that can be conceived. It is wonderful in its complexity and it is fearful in that in many ways it is fragile.
Three thousand years ago, David was in awe of God’s creation and he praised the Lord for it. Three thousand years ago, David saw how fragile life was; and sought God’s wisdom to live it carefully. Next time you are playing volleyball or watching it, encourage the teammates on both sides of the net for their abilities and their efforts. But also take time to praise God for the wonderful and fearful gift He has given you. All 639 muscles are God’s gift to you; and your thanks and praise is your gift to Him.