Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Focal Point in Sports

A friend of mine is writing a devotional
for softball players and asked me to
write about different ways we can
worship God through our sport. 
Below is what I wrote for her:

I played softball for myself, my team,
and my own glory for a long time. In
college, when I began to live for God,
my entire perspective in life changed.
Romans 12:2 says  to be "transformed
by the renewing of your mind" and
that began to happen as I learned what
the Bible taught. The more I learned,
the more I realized that God has
a purpose in our lives and wants to be
recognized in all areas, even on a softball
field. After all, God is the One who gave
me the talent and passion to play the
sport of softball.

When you are on the field, emotions
can get intense depending on how well/bad
things are going. I wanted to have a visual
reminder or a focal point to keep my
mind on the fact that I was playing
softball nfor God. The verse I picked was
Philippians 4:13, and it was the first verse
I ever memorized. It says, "I can do
all things through Jesus Christ who
strengthens me." I began to write "Phil 4:13"
on my glove, on my batting gloves, and
even put a little cross on the knob of my bat.
That way when I went to pick up my
equipment, I would quickly be reminded
that I was out there to play my best for
God's glory.

I believe those visual reminders
helped me when I was playing great 
and also when I started to struggle.
When I did well, I would pray and
thank God for the opportunity to be
on the field and for the talent He
gave me. When I got into a slump,
I would pray and ask God to help me
to focus on Him and to continue to
be thankful to have the ability to play
softball. I quickly memorized another
verse when I was struggling: Joshua 1:9:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong
and courageous. Do not be afraid; do
not be discouraged, for the Lord your
God will be with you wherever you go."
I leaned on that verse a lot when things
weren't going well and was thankful that
God was with me always. I know
how important those focal points were
because whenever I would get off track,
I would look at my glove and see
"Phil 4:13" and remember why I was out
there in the first place: to bring God glory.

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