Slow down. We live in a fast paced world where people are envied for how much they work, how full and busy their weekend are, and where complaining about being tired should be a complement to the ‘work hard, play hard’ image many want to embody. For those in sport - at all levels, from athlete to general manager - it’s become a status symbol to be in the office before the break of dawn and rolling home after the sun has set.
The Lord calls us to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). In Ecclesiastes, Solomon talks about the futility of our time here on earth and how there is a time for everything;
“There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.”
- Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
It’s clear from this passage that we are called to work diligently, have fun, share and feel emotion. This passage is also very clear that we are called to rest, heal, and make our time count. For me, making my time count sounds a lot like meals around the table with those I love, spending time in nature, and disconnecting from social media. It will be different for everyone but most importantly I want to encourage you to set priorities and keep them straight.
Be intentional with your time. As current and future sport industry professionals, busy and changing schedules, atypical work hours, strict bosses, and the pressure to perform is always present. If you are that dedicated to hitting the marks and making the goals you and your team have set for you professionally, how much more should you be focused and determined to keep your personal goals, vision, and mission a priority in your life?
It takes commitment and dedication
But isn’t your eternity more important than getting that raise or landing the next big gig?
As Christ followers, being intentional with your time should look like
Spending time with Jesus and growing that relationship
Pursuing loving relationships with your spouse, family and friends
Working diligently to perform in the area of work the Lord has called you to
What does it mean to slow down? What are the tangible steps one might take to ‘slow down’?
Here are some simple, easy to implement, steps to help keep your life centered on Jesus, keep you filled up so you can fill up others,
Figure out what time of day works best for you to devote some time to God's word. What is life giving for you? For some people, it’s an early morning with coffee and the Bible, or taking time over lunch to sit in the park and connect with the Lord through nature, for others it might be part of an evening routine of putting the phone away and reading before bed. Each individual is different and it may take some time to find the routine that works best for you, but try it out. That’s the hardest but most crucial step - to start!
There are many great books and daily devotionals to help you stay focused and on track. If you are a new Believer or struggle with knowing how to begin reading the Bible, picking up one of these would be a great way to get started!
New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional - Paul David Tripp
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in HIs Presence - Sarah Young
My Utmost for His Highest - Oswald Chambers
The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge - Tony Dungy
Morning and Evening - Charles Spurgeon