Lessons from a Life-Long Soccer Player

This past Christmas, our family and extended family all gathered together at my cousin’s place. I think their house was the only one big enough to hold all of us together. It was a great time of reconnecting with everyone, as well as enjoying a great home cooked meal – they always go all out.

After dinner I sat down with my cousin’s husband and we talked about a little of everything. Then our discussion led to the topic of soccer. It was incredible for me to hear that he still plays competitive soccer. Did I tell you that he is in his mid-50’s? I still remember him playing in some of the tournaments when I was younger.

When I asked him how often he plays, he responded by saying, “I try to play at least 3 times a week; and I also go to various tournaments at least twice a year.” I had to catch my breath (after the gasping). But I wasn’t surprised that he is still playing because he is in awesome shape for someone in his latter years. I think the gasping came because when I thought about where I am now compared to my glory days, I realized that I am nowhere near playing competitive soccer. I think I would collapse on the field after 10 minutes if I played competitively.

But then, this got me thinking, especially as we are starting off this new year.

There is something about holidays and breaks that always throw people off in their spiritual rhythm. It is as if we were playing soccer regularly and then all of a sudden we decided to drop everything and just sit in front of a TV with a bag of chips (definitely the “Chunky Flamin’ Hot Cheetos).

For some reason, it is difficult for us to get back on the field.

I realized this is so true for people and their spiritual lives. It is not only for college students who went home for the holidays, but this is even more so for people who were active during their college years, but then after the comforts of the single-adult life and the busyness of married life, we tend to slow down and lose passion for God.

Now there is definitely a difference between slowing down a bit, due to more responsibilities in life and just losing the passion and discipline to push ourselves to love God more.

My conclusion?

We can’t stop playing soccer. Even though we cannot run as fast as we once did, we have to keep on finding ways to play because of the love of the game. Even though our time is limited, we have to find ways to play because of the love of the game.

Our love and devotion to Christ should propel us to keep on praying and reading His Word.

It is always easier said than done.

But it is my prayer that even when I am in my mid-50’s and into my 60’s (if God affords me to live this long), I will still make the time to run and seek after Him.

It starts now.

We need to get back in the game.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7-8, NIV).