I have been sharing with people that there are a lot of parallels to sports and our Christian life. In fact, this is the reason why we see a good handful of examples given in the Bible by Apostle Paul.
When we are “in season” we are constantly in training, in practice and in games. This helps us to keep focus, conditioned and prepared for the task at hand, which is to win games and hopefully get to the championship game. During the “off season” many people are relaxed and not as intense. This is revealed when people come to the first day of training camp. Usually, you will see people slightly overweight and out of shape.
As people come in to the training camp, there are several factors that will determine whether they will have a championship year.
First of all, we will have to see the desire in the players. So many things can be measured by the desire and the hunger that people have in obtaining something. If the desire is not there, it is a pretty good sign that they will not achieve their goals. This was best displayed by the Wolverines’ victory over the Gators yesterday. After reading through all the news conferences and articles, it was very clear that the players “wanted” to send Lloyd Carr with a victory. The seniors wanted to end their footballs at Michigan careers with a bowl victory. They wanted to prove the skeptics wrong. And the list goes on and on. Do I need to say more about desire?
Secondly, we will have to see the discipline of the players. Just by having a desire is not enough to win championships. With every great desire there has to be discipline – the discipline to say “no” to certain things and the discipline to say “yes” to other things. Without this, the desire will just be a wish and nothing will be accomplished.
Lastly, we will have to see the determination. Over the years, I have been more convinced that anything worth keeping or obtaining requires a level of determination. This is true for a marriage, a degree, a career, a friendship, a healthy body, and the list is endless. People who do great things have this one trait in common – they have extraordinary amounts of determination.
Desire, discipline and determination – these are the same ingredients for success after coming back from the holiday break.
There are a lot of things that God is placing before us. The question is: Do we have the desire, the discipline and the determination to achieve what God is calling us to do? It is my prayer that as many of us are back from Christmas break that we will envision a championship season for the 2008 year. God will give us the desire and the Holy Spirit will empower us to be disciplined and our determination comes from focusing on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:1-12).