And The Glory Goes To…

As an athlete, I’ve come to find that working out and playing the sport I love can be a spiritual experience.  This may sound strange, but during what other activity are you completely in tune with your body, using it completely for the purpose for which it was made?  When I work out I am constantly aware of the intricate internal workings of my body.  I can feel every contraction of muscle, every burst of energy released, every beat of my pounding heart, every spike of adrenaline coursing through my veins, every intake of breath…  And when I feel as though my body is about to give out, it is then that I feel most alive.

Personally, I believe that my athletic abilities, and those of all athletes, are gifts from God through which we are able to fully appreciate the life He has given us.  However, (and I include myself in this) all too often athletes get so wrapped up in the game or the competition that they lose sight of this blessing.

More often than not, when you hear athletes reference their faith in relation to their sport, you hear them talking about how God helped their team win the game or helped them personally out race the competition–as if God had some stake in which team or individual came out on top!  (Perhaps He makes bets with the Devil on who will win the Superbowl every year, I wouldn’t know, but I’d say that this is a bit of a long shot.)

We become so focused on the prize–the trophy, the medal, the fame–that we lose sight of what’s important.  We take for granted the strength of our bodies when so many others out there have lost or never had the ability to do a fraction of what we can.

As 16 year-old Olympic gymnast, Gabby Douglas, said after winning gold in the 2012 London Games, “God has given me this awesome talent to represent Him. Glory goes up to Him, and the blessings fall down on us.”  Although the vast majority of us may never see success even remotely close to hers, I believe that it is important that we glorify God for the talents He bestowed upon us during every practice and every competition.  Only then do I think that we can fully appreciate our sports and the life flowing within us.

I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

–Kelsey–

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4 thoughts on “And The Glory Goes To…

  1. Awesome post Kelsey! You brought up a really good point that we often forget what’s truly important when we get caught up in going for the win…or working out to get that perfect spring break body. God just wants us to be healthy and represent Him in our lives, so I’m going to try to keep that in mind.

  2. Kelsey, I’m also an athlete and know exactly where you’re coming from. Sometimes I pray to God to give me the strength to run a phenomenal race because I’ve been working so hard. When I’m finished running and notice my time has not improved or even got worse, I am very upset with not only myself, but with God as well (which isn’t right). Often times I forget that God gave me this beautiful gift to run. A gift some people are not given. Like you said, we take for granted the strength of our bodies when so many others don’t have the ability to do what we do.

  3. Great post. I love your statement of, “And when I feel as though my body is about to give out, it is then that I feel most alive.” This is so true for me as well especially with lifting and running workouts here at school. A lot of athletes in this world don’t realize how blessed they are from God with their athletic abilities and I wish more would realize that. There are so many kids and adults who would give up anything to be able to walk or throw a ball again because they are physically unable to now but most blessed people will take their own abilities for granted and not realize how blessed they truly are.

    • I’ll admit, for pretty much my entire life I’ve taken my healthy body for granted. I see videos on YouTube all the time of little kids working hard to play through their disabilities and I’ve had countless teammates who have suffered from sports injuries, but it’s never really hit me that that could easily be me in an instant. I’ve been fortunate enough never to have been injured playing the sport I love and been forced to sit out or work through the pain of recovery. I think now that I’ve realized that, I will never again be ungrateful for the blessing of being healthy and strong. I hope you and I both never have to experience that kind of physical and emotional pain.

      –Kelsey–

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