I’d like to start this blog off by using one of C.S. Lewis’ (renowned Christian author, wrote Chronicles of Narnia) tactics when attempting to articulate a rather sticky spiritual discussion. He writes, “If this chapter means nothing to you… drop it at once. Do not bother about it at all” (Mere Christianity, 144).
So that’s how I want to preface this discussion. If it doesn’t work for you. Forget it.
On that note, let’s dive in.
First, about me. I have been passionately walking with the Lord for about 11 months now. After having been seemingly numb to Christianity for the first 20 years of my life, I had a spiritual awakening on a mission trip to Uganda during the summer of 2016 where I realized I needed to rededicate my life to Christ in order to experience everything this “Christianity” thing had in store for humanity. Being brought up an avid athlete, sports was where I derived a bulk of my joy, purpose, and identity from. It was rather safe too, considering I was good at it. My efforts during my senior year of high school football was worthy enough to earn me a collegiate scholarship to play DII football at Central Washington University. I was (and still am) a total sport freak. Watching, playing, analyzing, talking… anything regarding athletics and I am hooked. Playing baseball, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, track and field, etc. my entire life reaffirmed this passion. But it wasn’t until I met Jesus this past spring where I realized my efforts and strivings in athletics were valiant, but ultimately unfulfilling.
This is where I want to be delicate. I do not want to downplay the beauty of competition, the thrill of a heated match, or the insanity of a player like Jimmer Fredette taking the nation by storm through his incredible long range jump shots… but I do want to allude to the fact that basketball, baseball, you name it… are all man-made creations. By design, these cannot provide a human with the type of satisfaction that something divinely created can. Is that to say all things manmade are rotten? Certainly not! Look at modern day medicine, smartphones, the automobile. These creations have their firm staple in society. They’re important. But they’re not God. And they can’t give you joy like He can.
When I met the Lord, I began to undergo a gradual realization that these tangible desires in my life were ultimately unfulfilling. I came to understand that football, as exciting as it was, was not going to sustain my soul. Thus, despite this seemingly spectacular dedication to football (often times this is also what is portrayed from professional athletes), had to be replaced with something far more meaningful: the Lord’s plan for my life.
Granted, that isn’t to say that I might one day strap it up for the Indianapolis Colts. Who am I to say what God’s plan for my life is? But I do know that when I seek His will for me and derive my meaning/joy/purpose from Him, He will make that path clear for me. He promises to do so! This is what “dying to yourself and picking up your cross” means. It is about letting go of your own, personal agenda and becoming a disciple of Christ: one who allows Him to take you wherever He wants you to go.
He must become greater, and I must become less. (John 3:30)
Central Washington University
Graduating Class of 2019