What do we need to know if we’re going to last as believers? The call to the Christian life is more than a one year wonder, but a push to be a seasoned veteran. The difference lies in endurance. More distance will be covered in a consistent pace over a prolonged period of time than shorter sprints at a greater speed. You are in for the long haul.
A push for each of our athletes is to have the week of National Training Camp to become more than just an experience. Our desire is not for a spiritual high that is maintained from Monday through Saturday but for a heart renewal that runs the length of their lives. Above an emotional response we want a fundamental response to the call of God; namely, to live lives bent wholly for Him.
The integration of faith into sport through the session and labs at NTC, is a practical opportunity to reflect the microcosm that is sport to life. The hope is that beyond the connection they can make on the field through sport, God would saturate into every aspect of their lives. So how can you move external tools that are in hand, to be also written on the head and heart? We give the athletes twenty fours in the SPECIAL to tangibly apply, practice, and work it out.
Becoming a Seasoned Veteran
Every athlete wants to be more than a fluke, they want more than one season of longevity. Consistent excellent performances are a key trademark in setting elite athletes apart. Only the best are able to build a legacy with not just one great season, but a career of them.
For those that are new, the Christian life can be a daunting experience. What is to be expected if we are to be going the distance? AiA veteran staff at Simon Fraser University, Cody Lind, led this morning’s session detailing a few key points.
You need the right objectives, with the right expectations, and with the right team.
More than a static receiving of a direction, there is a need for an active moving towards Christ. God’s calling is not meant for those dragging their feet longing for succulent cucumbers they had left in their previous slavery. The call of God is for those who fully embrace the all satisfying freedom found in the promised land.
“Your goal is to move toward Jesus” – Cody Lind
What if disappointment could be re aligned to joy simply by changing what you are expecting? What if what you are currently expecting is less joyful than what God may bring out in the perceived hardships that will inevitably come? Following God can be costly, it will be tough. However, if you knew that God is good and working for your good (Rom 8:28), a perspective shift comes from believing this truth. Rather than begrudgingly tolerating and wishing for what was, you relentlessly pursue Christ in what is to come. Though the road may be tough, the pursuit of Christ is better.
“Endure whatever hardships may come” – Cody Lind
Lastly faith is not a solo sport, but one meant to be lived out in a body of believers. There is a need to look at those who have gone ahead of you, the great cloud of witnesses that stand as firm pillars in the test of time. You want to know how to do something? Ask someone who has done it before, namely Christ the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Like Wooden, Krzyzewski, Bowman, Shula and many others, pay attention to “those that have come before us” in the Christian faith.
Faith lived out must be ironed and sharpened not in the confines of the self, but also among fellow believers. Running the race becomes easier when you have someone coming alongside you cheering you on. Those that make greatest times have others spurring them on, runners who set the pace, pushing you to keep going when everything else tells you to give in. A team needs to be assembled.
You are New
Thursday night at National Training Camp, brings an intensive worship session, where athletes can simply be saints in the presence of God. No more need to wrestle with any challenge, nor ponder on any thought provoking question, no expectations to perform in sport or be the model Christian. Here at Vision Night they join in commonality as a body of believers looking to glorify their Lord. Among being the favourite night of the week between both staff and students, this night provides an opportunity to simply be with their God.
“You no longer have to build monuments, bigger things or to do more. You are God’s child, God is in you and works through you.” – Dave Klassen, National Director
A big struggle for many athletes is attributing a need for performance to receive acceptance. People stand in awe of their production through their athletic ability. You perform well, and you will receive adulation, community and love. This translates over to how many perceive God. There is a need to produce religion within myself, in order to self justify my acceptance before God. My external display of piety attempts to display my personal relationship with the Lord. Yet, National AiA Director, Dave Klassen spoke on the truth that is assured in us since Christ; we do not need create a temple full of wonder to show our devotion, we have the temple within us. Through the cross we are made holy, such that God himself dwells within us. We are made new in Him.
“He has established you…He has placed you..He has put you where you are for a purpose” – Dave Klassen