Perhaps gratitude is, like birding, both discipline and grace.
Does our soul pant for God in the same way that a dog that has been playing outside on a hot summer day pants for a bowl of cold water? Do we really long for fellowship with God? Or do we just take a sip as we pass by out of habit, rather than because we are really thirsty?
I believe that sports offer an avenue and environment that is rich with opportunity for character development. If priorities are correct and colleges take an intentional approach toward their athletic programs, athletes can leave these programs with an experience that influences their character with a richness that is difficult to achieve in any other setting.