When the race feels long


Have you ever felt like the demands of your schedule leave you constantly running?  Have you ever just yearned for a few hours of nothing to do, no place to be, and that long lost thing we call free time?

In our current world of sports, we are often suffocated with practices, lessons, tournaments, and games that the thought of watching a movie with our family seems like a far-fetched idea. However, we find a way to channel the last bit of energy we have and we go. We fill up the gas tank one more time to make it to the last leg of the day. And in the craziness of it all, something happens in that time that keeps us coming back…starting again the very next day.

Sometimes this race feels long.

That’s okay. It is okay to acknowledge that sometimes we feel spread too thin and just want a day to relax. It’s in our makeup to need and desire rest. It’s okay to feel like your tank is on empty, because sometimes it is.

How do we cope with this relentless schedule and lifestyle? We are not quitters, but we can take a few steps to simplify. And as we simplify, we may be surprised to find some surprising moments of peace.

Make Time for Him. Our current schedules can make this seem impossible. But it’s so important. As we train our bodies for physical health, we must fill it with spiritual health too.  Even if it means finding thirty minutes between games at a coffee shop to dive into the Word, or finding a sermon online. Maybe you’ll find a great church in the town you’re visiting. It’s amazing how we can find time in our day if we schedule it or make it a priority.  We wouldn’t miss that individual ball-handling lesson; so why miss our time with the Lord? Challenge yourself to make it an everyday thing. Perhaps on the way to practices or games talk about Jesus, listen to praise music, or have someone read a verse and discuss how it may apply to their day. The time is there. We sometimes just have to be creative. It is in Him we find true rest. Ultimately let this time you set aside be a time not for giving more of yourself to “please the Lord,” but to let the Lord fill you up with what He knows you need.

 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  
Matthew 11:28


Find Rest. It is okay to take an off day! I tell you again…It. Is. Okay. Go back to Genesis and read how after God created the world, he created the Sabbath, and He rested! He set an example for us to follow. Rest is healthy, for the body, mind, and soul. If you have to, schedule in some “rest time”. Treat it as an appointment and say no to activities that may interfere with that time.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing;
so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
Genesis 2:2


Keep On Keeping On! Keep on. You have a mission and a purpose. Don’t forget that. Let that passion fuel you when you feel low on energy. God has used sports to build relationships, help us grow as individuals, and to minister to so many people. He can use you too. Your talents were given to be used for the Glory of God – so press on and fight the good fight. You can do it! Remember, you are not meant to go through it alone. Find a friend and encourage each other!

I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14


Remember that when the race feels long, it’s okay. But be mindful of what you are chasing. In earthly prizes, there is no sustainable life. We are eventually left feeling empty and drained. In Him, there is everlasting life. Chase that prize.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,
but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last,
but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
1 Corinthians 9:24 – 25



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