This weekend is the two year anniversary of meeting R. We’ve never been the couple to be into counting each month of our relationship, but I do feel like the day we met is pretty important to me. Mostly because the location that we met at is truly foundational to our relationship. Two years ago, I met R at a bonfire at the end of a weekend retreat with the organization Fellowship for Chrisitan Athletes.
Today on our “meeting anniversary” I want to share the #1 thing I learned from being a part of FCA for three years during undergrad. If you are not familiar, FCA is a campus ministry for student-athletes. Funny though, at the time R and I met, neither of us were collegiate athletes anymore, but that’s a story for another day.
Each week, FCA large group consists of a fun ice breaker-like game and a sermon/message designed to relate to collegiate athletes. So lots of one-liners about being busy, and tired, and competitive in all things. There is also a lot of real talk moments about all the temptation around us, how to build community with like-minded people, and most importantly, how to use your athletic ability to bring glory to God.
There are many mottos similar to this last idea: “Playing for One” and “I am Second” are two that immediately come to mind. When you first hear this you’re like yeah okay, that sounds nice. But when you actually internalize it and apply it to your sport, your work life, or your school life it is truly a game changer.
I know that there was a point in my athletic career as a collegiate rower that practice terrified me. Let’s be honest, I wasn’t that great at the sport, but I was a good enough athlete to at least make it on the team as a novice who had never rowed before. I only ended up rowing for two years, but for the last year I was there, I was scared of two things. One, that my body wasn’t going to perform the way I needed it to for an array of reasons, and two, that my coaches and teammates wouldn’t value who I was as an athlete and teammate, aka would think I sucked. This fear paralyzed me each and every 5 am workout.
The message of “Playing for One” changed everything for me. No longer should I be anxious about how my body was going to react to a workout because the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘fear not, I will help you’ (Isaiah 41:13) and worrying about my coaches? Why? The Bible says, trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
Maybe you’re an athlete now and you’re reading this like…..say what, girl? Isn’t being an athlete about winning National Championships and being the best? And yeah, I would agree with you, but what if the change in perspective from what you can do alone, to what you can do with the Lord, gave you clarity and perspective to perform your best? This doesn’t mean that you stop working hard because you believe that “God’s got it.” It means that you work hard and you don’t have to worry about the outcome because God does have it.
It worked for me. The more I gave up walking into practice trying to impress my coaches the better I performed. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear, I felt free to focus on what was truly important, bringing glory to God. I did this by being positive, supporting my teammates when maybe I wasn’t doing well myself, and attributing any success to the Lord.
Surprise! This doesn’t only apply to being an athlete. This can apply to other roles we have, like being an employee or a student. You are not worthy because you make all A’s or scored that promotion. You are worthy because you are a child of God. That’s it. It is that simple.
If this all sounds foreign to you or you are curious to know more about the Lord, I encourage you to comment below or shoot me a message. I would LOVE to talk with you!