He Will Guide Us
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” -- Proverbs 19:21 NLT
In my freshmen year of high school, I joined the cross-country team in an effort to get in shape for my “real” sport, basketball. What I would find out later that season is that my “real” sport was actually distance running. I helped the youngest team in school history earn a trip to the Iowa State Cross Country Meet. I found success on the track and on the course over the next four years and a good portion of that success was because of the tremendous coaches, trainers and physical therapists guiding me along the way.
As athletes, we are disciplined in our sports. Give us a plan and we’ll follow it. From workouts, weights, nutrition, practice and preparation–tell us what to do and we will relentlessly pursue it to the end.
But if these last two years showed us anything they have shown us that our plans will often fail us. The best course of action today changed tomorrow. The certainty yesterday evaporated today. As we enter a new sports season with a mix of anticipation, hope, excitement and worry–where does your heart find hope? In a world that seems out of control, where do you run?
As a disciplined athlete, you will work harder, be more consistent, get more advice, tweak more technique, get more coaching and try everything in your power to ensure this year goes as planned. The sober reality however is it may look nothing like your plan by the time the year wraps up.
There’s nothing wrong with working hard and putting a plan together. As I said, I wouldn’t have made it beyond my first few weeks of practice my freshmen year if it wasn’t for a coach and a plan. But the dangerous thing about being a Christian athlete is that the very things we need to do to improve in our sport can become the things we hope and trust in the most. We often let the certainty of our own plans sit on the throne of the One who makes all plans, Jesus Christ (Col 1:15-19).
Throughout this coming year, it is inevitable that your plans will change. Fight the tendency to rely on yourself alone. Instead of trying harder, pray more (Rom 8:26). Instead of rushing to come up with new plans, listen to the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26). Be on guard, for your natural tendency will be to exert more energy and effort and run to Jesus as a last resort.
The Creator of the universe saw this coming year before time began. Whatever happens, whatever plan unfolds, it’s not catching God by surprise. Nor is He too busy or indifferent to care. The One who gave up His one and only Son for you absolutely cares about you. He will guide and direct your steps. He will make your paths straight. Just come back to these truths throughout the year. Because in the middle of the storm, it’s easy to put our faith in our own energy, efforts and ingenuity instead of the One who holds everything together.
- What are some of the things you rely on more than God in your sport?
- Consider a time in your life where you relied more on yourself than God. How did that turn out and how do you think it would have turned out differently if you trusted in the Lord more?
- How do you both plan and prepare for your season with the talents God has woven inside you and remember Who is ultimately in control?
Proverbs 19:21; Colossians 1:15-19; Romans 8:26; John 14:26; Proverbs 3:5
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for always being there to guide me. Help me to see Your light and Your path. Give me the discernment to know that You are leading me. I love You, Lord. Amen.