Professional athletes are incredible beings. They work all year long to get their bodies and minds in shape in order to compete with hundreds of other athletes for the chance to win a tournament. And, only one athlete or team can win. Still that doesn’t stop them from competing with the best of the best. Perseverance, tenacity, hard work, dedication and commitment are just some of the traits needed to succeed at being a world-renowned professional athlete.
These same characteristics are needed to succeed at living a healthy life in Jesus. There’s so much sadness around us, the news gets worse everyday and problems don’t stop coming. It takes a lot of pushing through to keep our peace. I also know that athletes don’t just have a physical coach, but also mental coaching because there’s a mental side to winning that supersedes oftentimes the physical. For example, I follow pro tennis and the players compete in all kinds of weather conditions as well as playing on different terrains (ex., clay, hard court, grass, indoors, outdoors, etc.) Most of them play with some sort of injury and some of them are serious. But, also they fight nervousness, fatigue, personal problems, even losing concentration during the match. They have to really concentrate and stay strong mentally on every point or the match can get away from them in a hurry.
The same is true of us Christians. I’m not in the hunt to win the next Wimbledon, but I know that if my attitude and mindset is not in a good place, then my day will be a grueling one at best. I notice that if I don’t spend adequate time with my mental coach, Jesus Christ, I find that I’m easily irritated, moody, frustrated, even depressed. But, when I start my day in prayer and pray throughout my day I get a refilling that keeps me going.
In essence, sports has taught me many lessons and oftentimes I can tie it to a verse. I’ve heard some athletes admit that there are days they don’t fill like working, practicing or working out, however these activities are needed if they want to be in shape to compete at their best in matches that can last up to four hours.
For me, there are days I don’t want to work. I would love to do nothing some days. But like the athlete, if we don’t push through with dedication, we don’t reap the rewards. For them, it may be they win a grand slam and move up the rankings or win the Super Bowl or the World Series. In my case, I want to help raise our income so that we can be financially independent and have a decent retirement plan. My household depends on my efforts, my hubby depends on me doing my part as I depend on him to do the same.
Sports is also fun to watch and we can’t forget that we need fun in our life to balance everything out. Too much seriousness is not a good thing. I play games, because it relaxes me after a long day at work. I also enjoy writing for this blog and it’s an awesome thing to have something to look forward to everyday.
The winning team or athlete rejoices when they win the tournament, for regular folks like me fulfillment is having a healthy mixture of work, ministry and fun.