We always want more. More reps. More playing time. More wins. More championships. More records. The list goes on and on. As competitors, we are driven by being the best and making the most of our athletic or coaching careers.
But when is enough, enough?
Maybe what we’re striving for, we already have. Maybe who we’re trying to be, we already are.
Maybe we’re not looking in the right place. Maybe we need to adjust our view and shift our sights on Someone who has a higher view.
Over the next year, we’ll explore what it means to live out a faith that impacts EVERY part of life to deepen our relationship with Jesus and others. From embracing Everything in Christ, reaching Everyone Through Christ, acting Every Way Like Christ and living Every Day with Christ, each of these quarterly themes will shift our focus from the things of this world to the blessings in Christ.
“And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.” (Ephesians 1:10-11)
Where do we begin? Embracing everything in Christ through our creation.
Ever wonder where you came from? Besides the obvious, do you wonder whether your life really has purpose or meaning? As coaches and athletes, you can get bogged down by playbook after playbook, perfecting your skills as best you can, pouring everything you have into your sport because, from all outside appearances, that’s where you get the most recognition.
But you’re chained to the whims of people’s emotions. Whether they praise your play or call out your mistakes, others’ opinions can influence your day. As your performance fluctuates, so does your approval.
This can’t be the way we’re intended to live, is it? Constantly on the teeter-totter of performing to belong only to be tossed about by the highs and lows of changing opinions? Does it matter? Does who you are matter?
Yes. You matter. You are made with a grand design in mind. And you are meant for so much more.
God Created the World
For you to believe that you are created in personal ways and for good things, you need to believe there is a Creator.
Look around you. The trees, the sky, the season, your hands—where did they originate? Certainly, their designs are too intricate to come from chance. So chances are, Someone gave great thought and care to crafting all things along with the cosmos.
In the Bible, we see how things began:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”
And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.” (Genesis 1:1-5)
First, a void. A stagnant nothingness. But the Spirit of God hovered, waiting. Then, a voice spoke into the silence, calling for light. A calling into being, breaking apart what we know as day and night. And God, the voice bringing meaning from nothing, called it good.
For four more days, He continued carving rivers and woods, canyons and mountains, bringing birds and whales and bears to life.
Then, on the sixth day, His crowning jewel appeared: mankind.
God Created You in His Image
“Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.’
So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
God intentionally fashioned man and woman in His image, to create and fulfill good works He prepared for them. One of the biggest differences between human creation and the creation of landforms, plants and animals is this: God’s breath began our life.
“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” (Genesis 2:7)
Transferring air from lung to lung is an intimate picture. But if we consider it long enough, what a game changer! The God who made all things took the utmost care to come close and craft us.
Think about what interests you. Do you like taking things apart to learn how they are put together? Do you value long, deep talks with good friends or teammates? Does your idea of a fun afternoon include exploring a new part of the city without a map or any hints of what’s around?
These interests aren’t accidents. Neither is your personality type, or your talents and skills. When God dreamed you into being, He hand-packed you with the exact likes, hopes, desires and discoveries that light you up when you live them out. And He put you in a specific place at a specific time, with specific people to connect with and specific plans.
Do you believe this? This is your true identity. Hold firm to this truth, or it will be hard to live out your purpose to embrace and live with everything in Christ. If you’ve been influenced by who others tell you they think you are, you won’t get the accurate picture. If you try and be who your teammates or fellow coaches think you should be, that won’t feel right, either.
God’s opinion of you should hold the most influence—what He says, goes. This will bring you peace and fulfillment. God says you are created in His image, wonderfully made and His child. Nothing can separate you from His love, and He has great plans for your life.
There is more in store for you.
God Created You for a Purpose
There are things God has in store for you that only you can experience. Created in His image, you are priceless, intentional and valued. You were made for relationship with God, to know Him in deep and personal ways, and to represent Him to a world in need of His love and truth.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:13-16)
God lays out every day of our lives with intention and purpose. Those things in you that make you come alive? Pay attention—God put them there and He may have something He wants you to do with them. In fact, God has everything to do with it! He cares enough about you that not only did He make you, but He sent His Son Jesus to make a way for you to be with Him forever. Since the beginning, sin has separated us from the holy God. But through Jesus’ perfect life, death and resurrection, He conquered death and sin and set us free from that separation. When we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are redeemed and saved for eternity and are forever grafted into God’s family. We are chosen and valued because of Christ.
God has an eternal plan that is being carried out today, and you’re a part of it. You have a role to play as He brings the good news of Jesus. Other people get to see Him through your life.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)
You are God’s masterpiece. He saw you before the beginning of time, created you with care and He set aside good things for you to do during your time on earth. He takes great delight in you. When you are tempted to believe a lie from a teammate, peer or social media post, remember that you are God’s child. Stand confident that You have been created by a mighty and loving God who put His breath into your lungs.
You don't need to keep looking around for where you want to fit in. With God, you already belong.
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