While we are in a period of waiting, we, the competitors and athletes, can still find ways to win. With the exception of school work, have you considered what you will do during this time? How will you make the most of your days while at home?
God has given us this time in history. Each day is gift. Let's make the most of it. Here are 10 ways you can be winning in the waiting!
1. Goal Setting
All season long you have set goals for yourself. Continue the process. Successful athletes always set goals, not only for their athletic careers, but also for many other important areas of life (e.g., faith, family, friendship, finances, hobbies and interests, and more). Set some big goals and put in the effort to make progress toward achievement.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
- Proverbs 3:5-6
2. Create a Daily Schedule
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Make a daily schedule for yourself that aligns with your goals and responsibilities. Chart each half-hour or hour of your day; this process will give structure and help you hold yourself accountable. Research time management and productivity to make the most of your days.
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.
- Ephesians 5:15
3. Work Out and Eat Healthy
This one is simple. Work out. Exercise. Continue to maintain the athlete lifestyle. Put in the work each day. Kettlebells. Dumbbells. HIT Training. TaeBo. Shadow wrestle. Whatever workout you choose, take initiative and put in the work. You will be thankful for the time you invested. Eating healthy will help you maintain your fitness level and it will also help your body build up your immune system to help prevent the chances of contracting the virus or illness.
I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. - 1 Corinthians 9:27
4. Read Biographies and Autobiographies
The benefit of reading biographies and autobiographies of our favorite athletes is we learn more about the faith, values, family, work, and challenges that helped them achieve success. And, there are so many great men and women to learn from, here are a few:
Additionally, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes website has stories of faith and perseverance from today’s top Christian competitors. The stories are out there. Use this time to read about the lives of Christian athletes and learn from their example.
And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 11:1
Traditionally, fasting is abstaining from all or some kind of food or drink for a period of time so you can focus on God. Use the time you’d be eating to pray. Fasting is a powerful tradition we see all throughout the Bible. If you’re not in strenuous competition right now, fasting can be a great way to engage deeply with God while you wait.
But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. - Matthew 6:17-18
One of the most powerful daily habits you can adopt is journaling. Journaling can be a collection of your goals, dreams, prayers, to-do lists, memories and more. Another powerful journaling practice is evaluation. At the conclusion of each day, you can take a moment to reflect on the accomplishment of your goals, highlights, use of time, prayers answered and lessons God taught you.
Journaling can help you become more effective and productive in your athletic pursuits and in your daily walk with the Lord. Additionally, you may find you’ll greatly value your journals as you look through the content later in life.
This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: "Write down for the record everything I have said to you, Jeremiah." - Jeremiah 30:2
Prayer is simply communicating with God. You can talk to God like you talk to a friend; the key is knowing and believing He hears our voices and prayers. Praying and talking with God through Jesus will fill your heart and mind with a peace, love and joy that you cannot experience anywhere else in this life. Once you experience God through prayer, there will not be any challenge in life you cannot face.
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. - Matthew 6:6
8. Dig Into God's Word
During these times of uncertainty, it is very important to press into God. One way God speaks to us is through His Word. When you open the Bible, you allow God the opportunity to speak to you. Any one of the Gospels is a perfect place to start (e.g., Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). His Word offers greater peace, purpose, hope and clarity during these times. At this moment, we can’t lose sight of what is most important. Check out https://fcaresources.com/ for daily devotionals, resources, or contact your local FCA Representative with any questions.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light for my path.
- Psalm 119:105
9. Spend Time with Your Community
Connect with your family. Play board games. Watch sports clips. Watch movies. Have fun and be thankful for your family. Additionally, take some time to connect with teammates and friends through phone, email, text, social media and more. Give them encouragement during these challenging times. Also, take initiative to organize and launch an Online FCA Huddle through Facebook Live, Google Hangouts or Zoom. Use this time to connect with and encourage others.
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. - Hebrews 10:25
10. Find Ways to Give to Others
As student-athletes, you step up on the field, mat or court to lead your team to victory. God has given you this moment to step up and lead your community. You have time and influence. How are you going to make a positive impact on those around you?
You can write encouraging words to the elderly. You can organize a box of food to be donated. You can research a local nonprofit or ministry and begin the volunteer process by completing the online application. As a student-athlete, God has given you this moment to shine off the field. Step up. This is your chance.
"Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
- Matthew 25:37-40
While you are waiting during this difficult and confusing time, consider how you will make the most of the moment. Even though your situation or routine has changed, you can still be learning and growing as a coach, athlete and follower of Jesus. Use this time wisely and have a daily purpose. You won’t regret it next season—or in eternity. You can win in the waiting!