There’s a great guy here in town who volunteers his time in a local church gym to host free indoor volleyball sessions. He sets up three nets, welcomes people, negotiates disputes, and tries to get people to play equitably. All for free. Now that it’s the holiday season, and schedules are a bit more free, the most recent attendance was naturally through the roof…rather out the door. I was having a conversation with someone who was complaining about the record attendance – more than 60 people for three courts. And how it was such a pain to get time to play.

This has always been disturbing to me. A significant population already come to the church with just the expectation of getting to play, without contributing to setup or cleanup (well, not willingly anyway). But this is Christmas. In a church. And if this setting cannot inspire players to give others something they’re getting for free (time on the court), then we have desperately lost the meaning of the season for giving.

Be grateful for all the gifts that you already received. I wish you and yours a happy holiday season, and lessons of kindness and respect.

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