November 03, 2019 - #4703 "Life Lessons and Sports"

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at


Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Richard Elliott
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“When in Our Music God Is Glorified”
Music: English melody
Lyrics: Fred Pratt Green
Arrangement: Emily Crocker

“Look to the Day”1
Music and Lyrics: John Rutter

“Presto” from Concerto in F, op. 4, no. 5 (Organ solo)
Music: George Frideric Handel
With the Orchestra at Temple Square

“Consider the Lilies of the Field”2
Music and Lyrics: Roger Hoffman
Arrangement: A. Laurence Lyon

“I’ll Fly Away”3
Music and Lyrics: Albert Brumley
Arrangement: Sam Cardon

“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”
Music: African-American spiritual
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

1 On the CD Glory! Music of Rejoicing.
2 On the CD Consider the Lilies.
3 To be included on a Spring 2020 release by the Choir and Orchestra.


The Spoken Word

Life Lessons and Sports

Most sports fans love to follow the scores and stats, the wins and losses. But if sports were only about numbers and rankings, they probably wouldn’t fascinate us the way they do. No, behind the scores and jerseys are people we come to care about and inspirational stories that teach us important life lessons. 

We see some athletes who are clearly gifted and seem to have advantages from the start. We see others who aren’t the strongest or fastest but who excel because of their will, tenacity, and hard work. And we always love stories of athletes who are resilient, who fail but then bounce back, and who overcome difficulties. We marvel at their inner strength and mental focus.

Among sports’ life lessons are that perseverance, hard work, and commitment win the day, no matter the final score. In the end, our most satisfying victories come on the days when the odds were against us but we simply refused to give up until the final whistle blew. 

A young man gives his heart and all his effort to the goal of winning a state football championship but loses in the playoffs. A gifted tennis player dreams of playing professionally but gets cut from her college team. A promising runner gets injured the day before an important race. All these (and many more) are learning that sometimes the final score doesn’t accurately reflect life’s most meaningful, most satisfying victories. 

In the game of life, we may not be competing in a sports arena with thousands of spectators, but we do compete every day. In every heart idleness, pride, and pessimism face off against determination, selflessness, and hope. Will we keep going even when the scoreboard may show we’re falling behind? 

Whether or not we have a favorite team to cheer for, we can find inspiring lessons in the examples of dedicated athletes who never stop competing, no matter the odds. We learn that people progress and achieve—win, if you will—at their own pace. We learn that the most important play is not the most recent one but the one that’s coming up. And we learn that in the end, our effort and perseverance are more important than the final score.