I certainly find myself in that category this weekend. I have four athletes competing in the South Regional and one competing in the Atlantic. These are men who have put more time and effort in training for this event than most people will ever know. As I was processing those emotions this morning I didn’t know how to feel about that. I’ve always believed that stress and worry is a sign that you don’t trust God to be God. That’s not to say that I’m not stressed or worried about this weekend but I’m always understood those emotions to be negative. I’ve always believed, and still do believe, that worrying and stressing about an event isn’t going to make that event go any better. So the question I asked myself this morning is what emotions are okay for me to feel going into such an important weekend. I think God’s word is giving me three specific answers.
1- Joy: Ecclesiastes 2 reminds me that as much as we chase the end result and we give honor and glory to our finish, the process is an exciting process. Ecclesiastes 2 reminds me to rejoice in my toil. More specifically, the process of getting to regionals and competing at regionals should be a source for joy. We often put so much pressure and weight on the final result that we forget to have fun and enjoy the weekend. Solomon, a man who was so rich there was literally nothing he had not experienced or owned, begged his readers to rejoice in the process. The end often isn’t as fulfilling as we imagine it might be especially if we weren’t present and joyous on the road to the end. As a coach that means I have to always make sure and take time to look around me and enjoy the weekend. As an athlete the same would be true. Athletes as you stand on that competition floor this weekend take half a second and look around you. Enjoy the workouts (as much as you can) and enjoy the experience. That experience is a lot of people’s dream regardless of where you finish. Take a second to soak it all in and enjoy the weekend.
2- Confidence: Scripture is incredibly clear on who’s image we bear as humans. Genesis 1 and 2 details the reality that God himself is the image we were created in imitation of. We carry what’s called the “Imageo Dei” literally the image of God. that’s the template that was used in our creation. The possibility, because of this reality, are innumerable. Our capabilities far outweigh our imagination. The capacity for greatness bestowed upon humankind by the God of the universe is far greater then I think many of us realize. That fact alone should give you confidence. Our template is the perfect, holy, God of the universe who knows no limitations and knows no boundaries. That’s the capacity we have been created capable for. God granted that kind of potential. The idea that there are things placed before us on this earth that we can’t do is not only to make a mockery of the image we were created in but to downplay the magnitude of our Creator. We have an immense amount of confidence granted to us by the truth that our capability is not limited by our own imagination but by God’s.
3- Faith: Psalm 115:3 tells us that our God in heaven is without boundaries and without limitations and He literally does whatever He pleases. Deuteronomy 7:9 also reminds us that God is incapable of breaking His promises and is always faithful to the covenants He’s made with us.These two truths should give you a great amount of faith. Athletes, the reality that God does what pleases Him should be extremely comforting. Regardless of how things turn out what pleases God should please us and ultimately what pleases God is always best for us. I can have faith that God will do what seems good to Him regardless of circumstance. Faith in His decree and His will should be extremely comforting heading into competition. As a coach. I have that same level of comfort. I’ve done my best. I’ve put forth the most effort I could coaching my athletes to the peak of their ability. I can rest in knowing that I’ve done all that I possibly can as a coach and I have faith that God will do what pleases Him and He will do what seems good to Him. That faith dissolves a lot of anxiety. Fans you should carry that same truth with you. Whether it’s your wife on the competition floor or your son. Remember our God controls all things and He does what pleases Him and ultimately what pleases Him is what’s best for us.
I’m excited that this journey to the Games has led us to this weekend. It’s going to be a fun, nerve-racking, and exhilarating next couple of weeks. I hope these three points above make it a memorable experience not one wrecked with negative detracting emotion.