NTC Day 2 Wrap-Up: Intensity is the Name of the Game

May 2, 2018

For anyone who read my last blog post, do you remember when I said how impressed I had been with the level of competition here at NTC?

Well, I think I was merely scratching the surface with that statement. Because day two happened, and the only word I can use to describe it is “intense.”

The day had started much like the previous one, with a teaching session led by Dave Johns. Today’s topic revolved around soul training, and how God has bestowed upon us the most powerful resource for our training (in sport and in life): The Holy Spirit. Although we will fall short of God’s commands and expectations, inviting the Spirit into our lives allows us to better resemble the perfect Son of God, by using the same resource that He had used.

What fascinated me the most from this talk was the idea of the “will,” and how God will never deny us of His Spirit because it is in line with God’s will. Intentionally striving towards the standards set by a great example, practicing self-discipline, surrendering your body to something – for better or worse – are of these gestures all acts of the will.

But these acts of the will also require immense acts of grace throughout the process, and I think that really came into play during the Canada Cup tournament that followed the teaching.

With athletes divided into eight teams that were separated by school or region, the Canada Cup saw six provinces represented in a true demonstration of grit. In the four years I have now been a part of NTC, never before have I seen such emotional extremes on display at Canada Cup, as compared to the highs and lows seen at today’s tournament. The concept of introjection, or taking on the attitudes of others, was so prevalent in the heat of competition that the ferocity on the field, which occasionally evolved into anger, was palpable from a mile away.

That being said, when the athletes began integrating some spiritual principles into their gameplay, perhaps by repeating a key phrase or finding an object to remind them of the empowering Holy Spirit, the dynamic completely shifted. Yes, the energy was still palpable, but the athletes were experiencing enjoyment, fun, freedom… all while still competing at their highest level. Even I felt more free, just as a spectator watching from the sidelines.

This is a process. A lifelong process. The principles learned at NTC are not meant to solely exist within the boundaries of this camp, but are intended extend to all realms of life beyond the world of sport. That being said, what a blessing it is to have sport as a platform to practice the application of these principles that encourage us to pursue God, just like He pursues us.

In the fitness world, intensity is defined as the amount of physical power used by the body when performing an activity. I dream of the day when we, as Christian athletes, can be recognized by our spiritual intensity, using our bodies as instruments of power to display the immeasurable power of Christ who works in and through us all.

Written By: Shayna Lewis

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