Meditation in the Midst
“How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” – Psalms 1:1-3
In my earliest years as an athlete, I can remember the great tradition of praying before and after a game. I even recall the times I’d forget, wondering if my neglect of praying might influence the outcome of the game or my performance. But through FCA I was challenged to not just say a prayer before or after a competition, but to pray to, reflect upon and give thanks to God while in the heat of competition. And to help keep my mind on Christ, I chose one verse to reflect upon throughout the entire game. It served to remind me that God is a part of everything I do, not just during my pre- and post-game prayers. I was able to focus on God’s view of who I am, and that how I compete in the midst of heated, intense competition should reflect Him.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I was always able to secure the outcome I wanted. But I do believe I came closer to reaching my full potential by understanding and appreciating the opportunity that God gave me to compete for Him. Meditating on scripture allows our attitudes and behavior to be shaped by His words. We are constantly reminding ourselves why we truly compete. And, as we focus on the truths of His Word – instead of on circumstances that sometimes can be out of our control – we can be like a tree planted by a stream and prosper athletically as we glorify Him, according to His purpose.
No mistaking it, the challenges we athletes face while competing are intense, and can at times feel overwhelming. But, if our focus remains on God, and our pursuit is to please Him, then we will experience the fullness He has designed for us. And like Psalm 1:3 states, we will bear fruit and reflect His glory, win or lose.
- Have you ever faced a tough situation while competing? How did you respond? Like Christ or with impulse?
- Would you say your focus is to bring God or yourself glory through athletics? According to Psalms 1, which results in the blessing and prosperity of God?
- Choose several scriptures what would be helpful for you to meditate on during games/meets. Write a few down and commit them to memory.
- Psalm 119:11
- Psalm 19:14
- Hebrews 4:12
- Colossians 3:17