Athletes everywhere want to strive for success. Results of competition say one thing about an individual but the path getting there is another. You can call yourself a champion after a very intense season but did you really put the effort out there to become a true champion? What I mean is, people are so focused on awards and trophies that it leads them away from what matters the most in sports today: work hard, have fun and at the end of the day, it is just a game. Now for professionals I can understand why you can disagree with me but for all the others, sports aren't going to last in your life forever, so why not enjoy it while you still can?
All athletes play for something or play to get something out of it. It's true. We all do. Some for the attention of scouts, some play for money, some play because winning is everything, some play to show how tough they are, some even play because they are forced to. As a christian athlete, I play for an Audience of One. One meaning God. And only God. God gave me the ability to step on that field, perform at my very best and leave nothing left. I give my all for Him, because He gave His all for me. Audience of One will always be my goal, both on the field and in life. It is just this reminder for myself that serving God will give you a more fulfilling life than serving the world. Serving God gives us stability, it gives us that last push to become better workers and stretch us towards this excellence of becoming a better person in Christ. If you would like to learn more here are a couple verses on what an Audience of One truly means:
Last season, I had the privilege to play summer ball in Alaska for a organization called Athletes in Action. Athletes in Action is faith based organization for athletes to learn how to represent Christ in their sport. While in Alaska, I was given a discipleship book and while reading through it, I came upon 14 points on what christian athletes should know about representing God in your sports today. Here they are:
1) God chose you to reflect His character through your effort, attitude, intensity and sportsmanship.
2) God has determined your value and worth before you even compete.
3) Compete by the rules all the time because they express what is fair; just and orderly in order for the game to flourish.
4) Competing to win is a serious challenge while enjoying the pursuit.
5) Believe and want the best both for your team and your opponent because everyone is striving towards excellence.
6) Accept your God-given abilities and your physical limitations.
7) Give 100% both publicly and privately because God is your audience.
8) What matters most is how you play the game.
9) View your opponent as a co-competitor who deserves respect.
10) Celebrating victory is expressed respectfully, appreciatively, and joyfully because it is more than about you.
11) Thankful for other's success.
12) See competition,sport as a privilege and a gift.
13) Teachable spirit and respectful toward coach/authority.
14) God delivers and redeems you.
I read this list everyday and before every game because it is a remembrance of what my life stands for. These 14 points give me hope and makes me believe that no matter what happens in my life, on and off the field, I serve a loving God and He will always love me.
Father, thank you for all the abilities you have given me. I know every gift I have is because of you and I pray that I will serve you through these gifts as long as I shall live. I pray that I can be light for you and that when people talk to me, they see you and what you are doing in my life. I serve you and only you in Jesus name. Amen.
I leave you with this...Which one of these fourteen points do you struggle with? Are there multiple points you have trouble putting into play? I challenge you this week, or as you approach your next season of play, to pick one of these to work on and see what God does in your life.
God Bless you all!