Does an athlete just "show up" for their season and in their mind think that they're ready to compete? Take for example this time of year when fall sports are well under way. When conditions are extreme, extreme heat, extreme physical demands with two-a-days, extreme competition for a spot, how do you think an athlete will fare if he/she has not maintained a disciplined physical conditioning and lifting program over the summer? Not well. They're not ready to compete! Athletes today train year round, every day. They lift (physical condition), watch film (know their opponent), read playbooks (know what their assignment is), practice (repetition, get it right). Raw talent doesn't get it done in today's world of athletics. An athlete must prepare and do what is necessary to be able to compete and have a chance to win.
The same holds true in life. In my last post (There is Strength In The Numbers), I referenced that the devil is our opponent in life. His sole aim is to take us out, to keep us from fulfilling God's design for us as an athlete and a person. In order to have a chance to win in this competition for our life, we need to train year round, every day. We need to to care for our body, not put things in to it that will harm it, prevent from achieving its maximum potential (physical condition). We have to read the Bible ( know our our assignment). There is no "film" to watch of our opponent, yet you don't have to look far to see him at work in the world around you. Do you see people oppressed by anger, addictions, frustrations? Do you see people acting out with violence against others just because they can? The "film" is actually played for us every moment of every day so it's easy to "know" the opponent and and his tactics and strategies. Everything we need to know about the nasty and destructive intentions of our opponent are listed in the Bible. Likewise, our assignments for life are given there as well. We're to live a life that holds others in higher regard than we do for ourselves. We're to love our neighbor (Matt 22:39), pray for our enemies (Luke 6:27), love unconditionally (John 15:12). We have to do these things every day (repetition).
If we are focused on our own wants and desires vs. the design that God would have for our life, we're going to get caught up in all kinds of things that are going to prevent us from having a chance to win. God tells us that His ways are different than our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Did you know that God has plans that are uniquely and intended specifically for each one of us? He says so in Jeremiah 29:11, "for I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". That's encouraging! God has a plan for you and me; it's a game plan for our lives. Following his game plan gives us a better than average Chance To Win. An athlete cannot take a single play or repetition off. If they do, his/her team suffers; it decreases their chances of winning. No matter the sport...it's a game of (inches, seconds, shots) and so on. Life is a game of MOMENTS and it's critical to train to win every moment. If we don't, we are not ready to compete against the the most evil opponent there is...if we don't train for it...we are not prepared to compete...we don't have a chance to win...we will suffer defeat.
Care for your body , make good decisions (physically train), Read the Bible (know your playbook, know your assignment), see the "film" of your opponent going on around you every day (know your opponent). Prepare yourself to Compete and Have a Chance to Win! By doing this, not only do we give ourselves a chance to win but we provide our teammates (those around us, in our communities, our work place, those in need) a Chance To Win as well! Isn't that a great thing to participate in; helping others Win too?