Hello there my lovelies!! It’s been a hot minute since my last entry but not to worry: I’m back. This time I want to talk to you all about the importance of prioritizing and not letting your identity be defined by a destination. High school is tough and adding more to the expectation plate doesn’t make it any easier; but it sure does make it more meaningful when you love what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Life learns to love you right back when you love it wholeheartedly with purpose.
Usually I focus on moments or messages given by professional Christian athletes, but this time I’m going to personalize and localize it a little bit more. A few days ago I read the senior speech of a friend of mine who was also a previous college baseball commit’s, Mike Reynolds. In his speech he addressed how sports had become his identity, spending everyday revolving his life around baseball. June of 2016 Mike committed to play Division 1 baseball for College of Charleston and in November of 2016 decided to decommit. This decision, as you can imagine, was one of the hardest he has had to make. Mike had had the dream of playing college baseball since he was swinging at the ball off of a tee. Giving up a dream that had become a reality may seem absurd to an outsider, but for Mike it was not the dream it came down to, it was the decision to be happy.
For years Mike claimed his identity was defined by sports. When he stepped on the diamond, nothing else going on in life mattered. The field provided security and in doing so it was a place to escape everyday life. Baseball was his everything. But for the reason of being happy and prioritizing what was important, Mike chose to let go of the college baseball dream.
For any athlete, it can become habitual to get caught up in the dream. It becomes habitual to let your identity be consumed by the athletic side of yourself. It becomes habitual to forget to prioritize your joy in faith. It becomes habitual to lose part of yourself in the sport. Break the habits. Turning down Division 1 baseball in exchange for happiness is not the only way to do so. Letting yourself shine in your faith and on the field is a habit broken.
Defining your character before you define yourself as an athlete is a habit broken. Staying centered on God and who you desire to be walking with him is a habit broken. Loving what God is putting you to do and why He is putting you to do it is a habit broken.
These habits are what happens when a Christian athletes conforms to what society has created of an expectation for athletes. And that’s to play at the highest level possible, care about your sport wholeheartedly, and never give up the opportunity to grasp your dream. While reading Mike’s speech, I got the perspective that someone shouldn’t identify him or herself by the dream, but instead by the chase. Growing in your faith, finding pure happiness, and defining yourself are all steps of this process. God has a plan and step by step the chase teaches you to trust it if you allow it to do so. So here I am today telling you to prioritize the chase and don’t get caught up in the habits that come with it.
Thanks for tuning in again, and happy 2017!!!
~Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.~
And so here it is again…
Make Him the Glory of your goal.