From the Pastor
Almost every week another professional sportsman takes a mental health break. At the micro-level this is to be affirmed. If anyone feels constantly overwhelmed or routinely anxious it’s good to step back and take stock. At a macro-level, I have other questions. Why is this happening so often? I don’t remember mental wellbeing breaks being a thing in the past. Is it just because of our increased awareness of mental health issues? Is awareness driving increased diagnosis? I suspect there is more to it than that. The professionalisation and extreme performance coaching of modern sport is developing amazing athletes, they can run, jump, kick and hit like never before, but it takes more than good coaching. Our culture-wide value of ‘chasing your dream’ and becoming a ‘world-beater’ at your thing is giving rise to single-minded driven kids, maybe with tiger mums. And if you throw in some obsessive compulsive or neurotic tendencies into the mix, in at least the prodigy but likely in the parents too – these traits are part inherited and part learned – you get the right ingredients for the makings of the next super-star. But this very same mix can give rise to unbalanced persons. There was an article recently with the title – ‘My daughter might not get into the top class, but at least I know she’s had a childhood’. Love it! Success and getting ahead of others are ambitions that come with a price. In the absence of shared (biblical) values, how do you know if your child is on the right path? Our culture’s answer is – because they are beating everyone else. A dangerous answer. Don’t buy it.
David Rietveld Senior Pastor