NTC Day 3: The Weight Versus the Wait

May 3, 2018

Today’s theme revolved around the topic of pain.

Not exactly a cheery subject, but nonetheless an important and relevant one.

By day three, the effects of running around for hours can really begin to manifest themselves in the athletes. Every body part starts to feel a little bit heavier – the legs, the back, other muscles you might not have known to exist before NTC – everything can feel a little bit stiff. It affects everyone differently and to varying degrees, for sure, but it usually requires a greater effort to get the result you might expect with a fresh body.

I think the same principle applies in our spiritual lives. When you are constantly trying to apply and integrate a new idea in your life, it can be quite common to experience spiritual fatigue, and might require a bit more effort than usual in those times.

Do you know what could add weight to our fatigued spiritual muscles?

Sin.

Do you know what Jesus liberated us from?

Sin.

As DJ (Dave Johns) had said during this morning’s discussion, pain is an inevitable part of life, especially in the life of an athlete. The grueling training sessions are not something many people consider to be a good time, but it’s the long-term picture that can be an extrinsic motivator encouraging us to handle this short-term pain. This concept is defined by DJ as self-endorsed commitment.

But the toxin of sin and condemnation can add significantly more weight into our lives than God would have ever intended. In today’s lab, this metaphorical weight was physically represented in the form of a backpack added onto a few players’ backs, or forcing them to use solely one leg to kick the soccer ball. Sometimes it can be tempting to lash out at someone or something after a wrong move or bad call, due to built-up frustration resulting from the heavy load an athlete may be carrying.

Here’s the thing, though: much like the leg that wasn’t able to kick the soccer ball, the sins we hold onto are merely dead weight.

But there are moments when we will not see the immediate fruits or results from our labours. Oftentimes, these results (or lack thereof) can bring about a great deal of confusion and hostility… but they can also reveal one’s faithfulness and maturity. The trials we face don’t always make sense, but they can always serve a purpose.

God does not bring pain, but sometimes He allows pain to happen in order to deepen our character for Him. Sinful weight is not conducive to God’s plan, while a spiritual wait reveals the ways He is working in your life. It might not always be life-altering, but almost always is eye-opening.

As our group heads into vision night tonight, my prayer is that we may be filled with God’s perfect peace. As athletes bear the SPECIAL in mind, which begins less than 24 hours from now, I hope this will be a time when they are reminded of how deeply they are loved by the Father and this group, and how each and every person is meant to be in that room.

Jesus died on the cross in an act of repentance for our sins, so that we wouldn’t have to pay that price. Why add more weight into our metaphorical backpacks, when Jesus came to remove the backpacks altogether?

Written By: Shayna Lewis

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