“As you sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” -- John 17:18
As a daughter of a four-sport athlete in high school, the pressure growing up to be a great competitor was felt, if not self-imposed. My dad was a great athlete who taught me a lot about sports. He came from a family of nine and eight were boys. So, growing up in a large extended family brought lots of pressure to perform on the field.
One day, during my elementary school years, the neighborhood kids decided to play kickball at the local elementary school. In those days, there were not many girls playing with me. As the captains picked their teams, I always wanted to be one of the top three or four players picked first. At that time, I cared more about playing sports for the attention and praise of others.
At 13, that all changed when I received Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It was then that I realized my true purpose is found in Christ alone and sports was a vehicle He would use as a platform for a Gospel-centered life. Serving others through the world of sports gave me greater purpose than the early myopic view I had toward sports, and what I got from it.
As you compete today, remember, God loves us and gives us a new identity and purpose to compete. Worldly accolades are temporary and often unreliable. With God through Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to experience a greater love, a greater peace and a greater purpose in what we do. We are called to glorify Him. How are you answering?
- What or who was the driving force for your early involvement in sports? How has that shaped your purpose, positively or negatively, as an athlete?
- How are you using your athleticism and leadership, now, to engage others to play for Jesus and His agenda rather than your own?
“Father, I thank You that You have ordained a greater purpose for my life than I could ever imagine. Thank You for giving me opportunities to share my faith and Your Gospel through the platform of sports. Thank You for blessing me to live a life of greater eternal purpose and impact. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”