For many coaches and athletes, we not only love sports but it quickly became the source of truth about who we are. We derive our value and joy from performance and approval. We sell ourselves to the game in hopes that it will fill our lives with meaning
We give our all, believing that through sports and our athleticism we will see ourselves rightly.
At the same time, we know that the sports world is unpredictable and undependable. One moment you earn MVP, the next you sit the bench for an entire game. One moment you’re healthy and competing the best you ever have, and the next you’re
at the doctor with an ACL tear talking about surgery and physical therapy. One moment your family and friends are so proud of you because of your achievement, the next you’re getting an ear full about how disappointed they are with how you played.
Ironically enough, we end up rooting our lives in an everchanging world with an anchor that is built more of paper than of steel. You can be sure, it will fail you.
When the Psalmist wrote Psalm 1 about the man who is blessed, who has lived their life 100% to the fullest, he didn’t write about one who owned many kingdoms or experienced every earthly success.
He wrote about a man whose delight is in the law [teaching and instruction] of the Lord, and on His law this man meditates day and night. This man craves deeply to know God through His instruction and teaching, because He believes that life abundantly
is found in his God and His ways.
The author goes on to say that because of this man’s wholehearted pursuit of the Lord, his life is like a tree planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in each season. Their leaves do not wither, and they prosper in all they do.
This person’s life is built upon knowing their God. And it is from this root, this faithful and unchanging Anchor, that the blessed person builds their life. It is because of their deep roots in the truth of who God is that they experience any success
and also stay grounded when the world around them constantly changes.
This is what it means to live 100% - to know your God deeply and to live in His ways.
So what does it take to experience this blessed life lived to the fullest by knowing God?
In Jesus, we’ve been offered the greatest gift and promise ever known. While we were dead in sin, God sent Christ to live the righteous life we could never live, to die the death and bear the punishment we deserved, all so that we would be
free from the death and debt we earned from our sin. But Jesus didn’t stay dead – the promise wasn’t just about your sin being taken care of. Jesus rose from the dead, and with His life offered us a new life, one where we get to
know the God who created us and be changed by Him into the men and women He designed us to be.
But many of us start to believe that while placing faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation, knowing Him might not fulfill our deepest desires. Our experience as Christians most likely leads us to believe that walking with Him is not as exciting or fulfilling
as that game winning goal, the cheers of fans, earning that college scholarship, or winning that title.
And here we find the great deceit. The lie that fills our minds as believers and keeps us from the Word, from fellowship with the church, from worship, from repenting and turning from sin – Jesus might not be better.
But you can be sure - Jesus is better. Without a doubt, no questions asked.
To be genuinely rooted in Christ the way the scriptures talk about, the way that leads to this full life, requires a right view of who Jesus is.
We must see Him for who He truly is, not who we think He is.
This depends on us seeking God and His character through study of the scriptures, through fellowship with believers and discipleship, through worship and repentance.
These aren’t just things that we do in obedience as Christians. They are designed to lead us to the living God.
Because if we could just see God – how good, just, merciful, kind, patient, faithful, and gracious He is – if we could just know the love with which He loves us, even when we were dead in sin, it would change our lives forever. It would change
our desires and dreams, so that what we want is what He desires.
Sports is an incredible gift and a terrible god. The faster we learn to root our lives in Jesus, to run after Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength in order to know Him, we will find life. And sports might actually become joyful again.
Want to learn more about what it means to be rooted and to strengthen your faith? Visit The CORE
Consider: What do you genuinely believe God is like? How did you come to these beliefs? Do you believe that knowing Christ and rooting your life in Him will fulfill your deepest desires? Why or Why not.
Action: Find a mentor or leader in your life who loves Jesus and share your answers to these questions with them. Consider asking them to disciple you to teach you how to read the Bible and know Jesus