We incorporate the language of sports into so many areas of life. Individuals with skills and experience coach others, and we make elaborate preparations to kick off a new initiative. High fives are extended to those who knock it out of the park, and we walk confidently toward a task we consider a slam dunk. We seek to find our way out of sticky wicket. We urge colleagues to run in front of the ball and not get blindsided. And, at Habitat for Humanity, we attempt to level the playing field by partnering with families who cannot afford simple, decent shelter.
Creating transformative change is not easy, but it is good. It isn’t a sprint, but a marathon that requires tenacity. —Jonathan Reckford
Far too many years ago, I was a competitive rower, and I coached the Korean national rowing team in preparation for the 1988 Olympics. (You can correctly draw some parallels to the Jamaican bobsled team). As in almost every sport, I relied on fundamentals that can also translate into helping us further our mission at Habitat: teamwork, discipline and staying focused on our goal. Athletes and Habitat volunteers have something else in common, too: their actions cross all borders and boundaries and bring people together.
Creating transformative change is not easy, but it is good. It isn’t a sprint, but a marathon that requires tenacity. The news is filled with stories of athletes who have trained for years — sacrificed daily — and concentrated wholeheartedly on achieving their dreams. At Habitat, we too must press on, even in a very difficult economic climate.
The prophet Isaiah encourages us with this favorite passage reminding us we have everything we need to persevere: “They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary.”
In this issue of Habitat World, we celebrate the contributions of sports figures who volunteer their time and talents and who lend their social capital to raise awareness about housing issues. We are grateful when entire organizations such as Major League Baseball get in the game, and we appreciate deeply the contributions of cricket legends, rugby players, NASCAR drivers, tennis professionals, collegiate teams, basketball stars, football players — both U.S.-style and soccer — and others. When local and international celebrities join our efforts, we are able to tell the Habitat story to new audiences and inspire more people to make a difference.
Thank you for being a member of the Habitat team and for helping us to build homes, communities and hope. This is one of the most important victories you will ever achieve.
God bless you.