Dealing with Disruptions


“So I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” -- 1 Corinthians 9:26-27


The recent pandemic that paralyzed the world also shut down sports competitions. For many coaches and athletes, the disruption was like a severe injury; suddenly they felt paralyzed and unable to compete.

One of the best examples of dealing with disruptions was professional boxer Gene Tunney. When Gene was serving in the military during World War I, he broke all the fingers in his hands. His doctor, who also became his manager, told him that he could no longer be a boxer because of his brittle hands.

But Tunney decided to change his strategy. Instead of relying on the hard punch, as he had done before, he became strategic: he learned to move well, to run backward and be an artful dodger. Then Gene shocked everyone by twice defeating Jack Dempsey, the world heavyweight champion for seven years.

Although Gene Tunney changed his strategy, he did not change his goal. 

That is what we can do with disruptions that we face. We can change our tactics to overcome our circumstances but still continue to aim for the goal. Sometimes, the Lord will even turn setbacks into turning points that usher us to wonderful breakthroughs.

  • Has there been a time as an athlete where you felt stuck and ready to quit or take the easiest way out?
  • How have you overcome setbacks in the past?
  • Can you sense the purpose of God in your situation right now to keep you on the right track?

“Lord, we are confronted almost daily with obstacles that disrupt our lives. Please help us to move out of our comfort zones and usher us toward Your purposes and turn our setbacks into breakthroughs. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”